Redlands Bicycle Classic: Time Trial Success Words By Chris Barton

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

For us, the Redlands time trial began a few months ago. After one of our local races, I rode up to Big Bear with the team to look at the roads the course would be on. We knew there were going to be a few tricky corners and seeing and practicing riding them would give us an advantage come race day. Between then and the race, we rode up to Big Bear several more times and practiced riding the course a handful of times. In addition to getting good at riding the turns, it was helpful to practice going hard at a high altitude (about 7,000ft) and learning how to pace yourself. Redlands is a big race for our team, and we had all put so much effort into training this year that we wanted to make sure that we had every advantage when it was time to race.
The morning of the time trial the weather was perfect. Kind of chilly, but sunny and calm. I warmed up a little longer than usual to loosen the legs up from the previous day’s race, and I was ready to go. Initially, I had planned on riding conservatively for the first 1/3 of the time trial because it is easy to blow yourself up at altitude. By the time I was ready to go, however, there was a strong headwind for the first half of the course and tailwind for the second half. This meant there would be more to gain from going hard for the windy first half and less to gain from saving myself for the second half.
Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Once I shot down the starting ramp, I quickly settled in to a rhythm I knew I could sustain for about 80 percent of the course. I made it through the tight turns on the way out, executed the turn-around perfectly, and dug as hard as I could on the way back. About 3km from the finish line my lungs were burning and I was ready for the pain to be over. I kept my head down and hung on through the fast tailwind descent and it was over.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

When I turned around and headed back to our team car, I saw my teammate Brian McCulloch jumping up and down. “You have the fastest time!” Perfect! All of our preparation had payed off and now it was time to sit and wait to see if anyone would ride a better time than me. In the end, I was bested only by Tom Zirbel and Ryan Roth which meant that I got to take the third place spot on the podium! I am proud to have raced so well at one of my biggest targets for the season and I sincerely couldn’t have done it without everyone on KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo helping with my preparation.
Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.

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Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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