Exhale…..Right foot……Left foot……right foot….left foot…right foot…left foot..right-left-right-left-righ/lef…..Houston we have Lift off!!
..And thus began my 2015 season! My first race as part of the Specialized KYNKYNY Cycling Team (the best team in the subcontinent), was the BBCh Individual Time Trial. A fairly flat out-and-back course of 33.5km.
Look Ma! No spokes!! (Photo credits: Raghu Mohan Sports Photography)
33.5km to go, Sarvesh! You know the routine – 90% effort for the first 2km, Leg-churning effort for the next 22 kilometers, Chest-burning-Leg-churning pace till the 32k mark, followed by AAAAArrgghhhDAMNYOUlacticaciduuurrghhWHERE’STHEDAMNFINISHLINE!! Simple, macha.
With a slight headwind on the way out, I planned to go harder than I slightly would, till the roundabout to take advantage of the tailwinds (gotta love those!) on the way back.
I was on a Specialized Allez with Rapide CLX 40’s (I love these more than I love tailwinds!) and started off at a good pace. My teammate, Kiran Kumar Raju started 30secs after me and I used him as a marker to pace myself. Unfortunately, this involved looking back every 5kms to look out for him.
With half an energy bar in me, I felt strong as I approached the roundabout, halfway through the course averaging 39.2kmph. I timed the gap between me and Kiran and I had increased my lead by 22secs!
Pace yourself Sarvesh, Pace! The tough grind will begin in 10kms!
Surprisingly, the tailwind was a no-show on the way back! I continued with the leg churning pace, anticipating the 8km-to-go marker.
With 10km to go, my team Director, Matt Barrett, who had started 3mins after me, caught up with me and yelled at me to up my pace! Alrighty Then! I used Matt to pace my self, maintaining a gap of 10-15 meters.
Focus on the basics, Sarvesh! Your positioning on the bike, your pedaling motion, your breathing!
I felt good for the next two kilometers as I paced my self with Matt as the reference, but then, the sh*t hit the fan. I had three weeks of solid training before the ITT, and I could not go into the red because of the fatigue!
Things turned from worse to worst when my saddle sores began acting up at the same point (DO NOT search for saddle sores in Google images. You have been warned!!)
With 6km to go, as I was struggling to catch my breath, Kiran caught up with me –
Kiran : “What happened dude?”
Me : “nxijbvae…bxcvnghy…weincwghi…”
Kiran : “………………………………………….oh ok”
At this point, I was chewing my front tire to stay within 10-20secs of Kiran.
Whenever, I tried to push my aerobic system, my legs screamed back in revolt. Going “Jensie” did not help either!
3km to go…Time to go À bloc..
At this point, I just put my head down and gave it all I had, yelping like a walrus while doing so. My apologies to the person who was alarmed by my screaming when I overtook him with 1.5 to go.
With 1km to go, I had reduced the gap to Kiran to 2-3secs.
Phew! Job done…sort of..
I crossed the finish line with a timing of 52mins and 53secs. Far from my best, but I am not too disappointed as I’ve got a bigger fish to fry.
A huge congratulations to my teammates who dominated all the categories we took part in!
Final Results : http://bbch.in/BBCh15Race01.htm#BBCh15_01_ITTResult