Rutgers and Princeton

The 2009 ECCC Collegiate Race Season will open on 2009-03-07 in New Jersey. There are three courses this weekend: an ITT, a criterium, and a circuit race. (Blog posts become more frequent during the race season.)

The time trial (see below) is just over four miles on a flat, but not straight, course. Two turnarounds will probably be where time can be gained or lost. No aero equipment means that I'll be riding my road bike with 404s. The turnarounds and the shortness of the course may make lighter wheels faster than more aero wheels. This is a track sprinter's race.

The criterium course (below) features four right turns, making those of us who ride on the track uncomfortable. Saving energy through the corners will be a key strategy - I just hope I don't roll a tubular while doing so. Phinney describes a fast cornering technique that involves pedaling through a hard corner, pushing the bike upright periodically to avoid scraping your inside pedal. A flat finish will make the sprinters happy, but that 10% grade "wall" right after Turn One will be the site of many attacks, as riders debate standing on a 53-23 or shifting to the small chainring. The course is barely over a kilometer long.

The circuit race features plenty of sharp corners, but no steep climbs - it's certainly a big ring race. With that said, there are plenty of short climbs, so this will favor "bursty" riders more than time trialists.

My race rig is almost complete, with a few minor component changes to be announced. Stay tuned.