Monday, May 28, 2012

Watch for plenty of time trial action at the inaugural Exergy Tour, which brings together top female cyclists May 24-28 for some intense racing in Idaho. While Idaho’s mountains loom large, the race also includes two crucial time trials – Thursday's 2 mile (3.2 km) prologue in Boise and Saturday's 10.4 mile (17 km) Stage 2 time trial in Kuna, Idaho.

The race is crucial for riders aiming for the London Olympics.Kristin Armstrong of Team Exergy TWENTY12 is looking to defend her gold medal in the time trial at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Kristin describes time trialing – where cyclists race alone against the clock -- in simple terms. “The time trial is the race of truth, so the strongest person will win,” said Kristin, who starts the Exergy Tour in her hometown of Boise. "There’s no hiding.”

But Kristin knows time trials are scientific as well. We had the opportunity to talk time-trial tech with Kristin just after she won last week’s Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial Race presented by SRAM®, an 18.4 mile contest in Bakersfield, Calif. Here are excerpts:

Wheel choice of Zipp® 808 Firecrest® front and Zipp 900 Disc in rear:

“It allows me to be the most aerodynamic because it uses Firecrest technology in the front and lightweight in the back with my 900 Disc.”

Dealing with wind:

“You always have to consider the conditions out on the course. The cockpit is the most important part where I feel like I’m in control when it’s really windy. I like to keep the VukaBull base barsetup from Zipp. I always feel really comfortable when I’m in or out of the bars. My hands fit nicely with the SRAM shifters. It’s easy to shift on an undulating course.”

Aero position:

Kristin said comfort is key. Her hands are extended out onto the bar-end shifters. Her elbows are cradled into her VukaBull. “You want to stay as steady as possible while you’re out there time trialing.”

Gearing choice:

Kristin, whose Felt TT frame is equippied with SRAM RED - 2012, sees a big advantage with the SRAM RED 11-26 cassette. “It allows a huge variety for any kind of terrain, whether it’s a fast downhill in my 11 or I can minimize my (front) shifting and go to my 26 and still stay in my big ring.” In London, she expects to use 54-39 in the front.

London Olympic course:

“After doing some recon in London a month ago, I’ve already thought about my equipment choices. If I were to race London in a week, or tomorrow, my equipment choices would be exactly the same. I’d go with the 808 Firecrest front and the 900 Disc in the back and the VukaBull base bar and the SRAM shifters.”

Time-trial tips for the rest of us:

  1. Learn to focus.
  2. Be as steady as possible.
  3. Dig deeper than you ever have before. Determination.

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