ITT Tijdrit Almere

This Saturday, April 20, I will participate in the individual time trial ‘Tijdrit Almere’.

A very well organized event in my backyard, in which I participated last year as well.

It’s a big event too: last year, there where some 420 individual participants and 68 teams (of 4).

There are three individual distances, a hand-bike time trial and a team time trial.

There’s a 5.5 kilometer kid’s TT for boys and girls, and the (more or less) grown ups can chose between 21 and 42 kilometers; the team time trial is 21 kilometers.

Besides the kids, participants are split into various categories: junior, senior and masters, although the juniors cannot participate in the long distance.

The route is pancake flat and the biggest challenge is the wind. The polder is, besides flat, wide open and a breeze easily becomes a nuisance.

But, as start and finish are in the same spot, there’s a more or less equal amount of head, tail and lateral wind to enjoy…

Last year, I was lucky I could start at all, because I had a serious back problem (up to) a day before the event.

I got a morphine injection on Friday and that was enough to get me going again.

My time was 1:07-ish over the 42.65 kilometers, which I thought at the time was not bad under the circumstances.

For this year, I was going to aim for a better time, preferably as close to 40 kph as possible.

However, those back problems came back with a vengeance and coupled with my over-training and subsequent collapse last December, I know that it’s not going to happen this year.

I’m happy to be back on the bike again as it is – and I do have a proper TT bike now – but I have lost 40 to 50 Watts of my FTP and 12 points of my VO2Max.

Last Saturday, I did a test, trying to go as fast as I could. Although the strong and biting cold (eastern) wind was not helping much, my 1:15 was better than I expected.

But my average power was only 220 Watts, where I already pushed 285 last year to get to that 1:07…

As the weather is predicted to be much more agreeable next Saturday, I’m expecting to do better than last Saturday, but setting a PR will have to wait until next year.

As I will turn 60 then, it would be a nice achievement 🙂

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