Harpoon Indoor Time Trial – A Success!

Posted on February 3, 2010

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This past weekend I flew home from Tucson to see my coach, family, friends, and most importantly compete in the Harpoon TT. It was an incredible event held right inside the Harpoon Brewery in South Boston. On Saturday a few hundred riders competed on the virtual 8-mile course, which simulates the course profile of the last 8 miles of the famous 150-mile Brewery-2-Brewery ride from Boston, MA to Windsor, VT. Heats of 24 computrainers were setup to go off every 45 minutes all afternoon and evening at the brewery. There were 9 high-def flat screen TV’s set up to capture the action and provide ideal views for competitors and spectators alike. My heat, the elite/open heat, was slated to go off at 9PM, but things were running way late and I didn’t begin until 11PM. (This was actually an advantage to me as I was still on Tucson time)! My heat was very competitive – it included pro cyclists and some of the areas’ top roadies – needless to say I had my work cut out.

Hurting!

Only a few feet behind!

I had that familiar nervous but excited racing-energy feeling in my stomach. After a solid 25 minute warmup I knew I was ready to go. A giant “3-2-1-Go!” countdown appeared on the TV and the virtual race was underway. I messed up my gearing a little bit at the start but quickly settled into a rhythm at my predetermined wattage. The course was relatively flat at first with a couple slight hills, but at the end there was a pretty considerable hill at which I was planning to make a decisive move. (As a lighter rider I have an advantage on the hills). I quickly moved up into the top 3 riders and held my position. On the giant screen in front of me I could see the data telling me how many feet I was behind the rider ahead. It was less than 10. I took the lead for a while and then proceeded to go back and forth for the lead with Matt Mitchel. We must’ve changed top positions at least 15 times. If I wasn’t leading I’d only be several feet behind Matt and vice versa. It was definitely a dogfight. I was doing my best to hold 400 watts on the hills and then “recover” at 330 on the down-hills. With less than 5 minutes to go, we hit the final giant hill. My legs were absolutely burning at that point, but I knew that if I was going to win, this would be where I’d need to make it happen. I began exerting more force on the pedals, never dropping below 400 watts. Halfway up the virtual monster I realized that it was working, and for the first time my lead was growing. Once I hit the top of the hill it was just a matter of keeping the pace high for another minute or two. I was able to hold it together and grabbed 1st place by 9 seconds. 18:36 – a new course record!

Me and Ironman World Champion Karen Smyers

After the race I was able to take part in a couple celebratory Harpoon brews. It turned out to be a great day for Team Psycho. Before I took the overall lead, the fastest time of the day belonged to a TP member. In the team time trial, Team Psycho grabbed first place (with the help of Jarrod Shoemaker taking long pulls at the front). And finally, on the women’s side, 1995 Ironman World Champ Karen Smyers earned top honors. A Psycho sweep! For finishing 1st I won a set of Mavic K-Sys wheels, a slot in this year’s B2B ride, and most notably – a case of Harpoon beer. All in all it was a great day and a great event. I would encourage all New England based triathletes and cyclists to try this TT sometime. I mean you’re in a brewery! After your race you just hang around and drink beer that’s fresh off the assembly line – what could be better?! Can’t wait to come back to this next year…

The winners got to sit up on the "Leader Stool"... and drink Harpoon!

Posted in: Race Reports