Found my missing minute

PDCC 16km TT
Hopelands

The 3rd race of the season, The first week I bettered my personal best by 5 seconds on a bike that I put together from bits and pieces, as my regular time trial bike is off the road for repairs.

The next week, same bike, minor adjustments to my position for improved power delivery. The weather was back the usual hot with a strong headwind for the first half of the course. Which meant a tailwind all the way back from the turn around point. I was happy with my ride putting out close to an extra 15 watts over the week before. Until I saw my time, over a minute slower than the week before. The wind did have an impact most other riders were 15 seconds or so down from the previous week. Nobody else lost over a minute.

This week, the weather was the same, hot with a strong headwind. I had reverted the adjustments to my position, thinking it was poor aerodynamics, particularly into the wind. I was still worried.

I knew the riders both in fornt and behind me and their previous times, I was not going to catch anybody and was unlikely to get caught, so my sole effort was going to be ride close to 26 minutes as possible.

The first couple of kilometres are protected from the worst of the wind, by trees, I rode hard, I surprised myself how much power I was putting out and how easy it was to maintain the effort. Then the wind hit, I eased back a little but kept the effort going for a few more minutes. After I hit the 5km mark, I do not know why I eased back, my heart rate started dropping and I was struggling to keep the bike straight. Got to the turn around point, and though I did not know it, in almost the same time as the week before.

Turned, got the wind in my back and started working harder, I was putting out more power than before and consistently. I knew I was doing well when I was pushing 53×11 for some time. I did measure my effort well as I could barely sprint over the line. It was only then I looked at my time, it was just under 26 minutes and 5 seconds off my personal best.

What surprised me was the time splits, first 8km into the wind averaging 244 watts and 32.5kph. The return trip and faster ever for me by almost 30 seconds was averaging 236 watts and 44.2kph, I made up the minute from last week on the return leg.

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