I'm stoked to be racing this weekend in St. George! I love SG. Dry air, usually warm weather and close enough to Vegas to feel a little silly. This weekend's Tour del Sol is also the first UCA points series event of the new season. We've been racing crits over the past few weeks but the Tour del Sol is a 2 day, 3 stage race with a TT, crit and road race. It will also be my first race as a Cat 3. I'm a bit nervous.
This winter I've been riding more than I usually do in the summer. I should have a strong base, which I'll need for 2 days of racing. I know the courses well and I know my competition as well...all ingredients for a solid weekend.
I've been thinking a lot about the TT however. I struggled at last year's event. It was my first ever time trial and I got cooked. I'm hoping what I've done this winter will at least show a little bit of fruit. But as a Cat 3, the TT will also bring out everyone's TT rigs, aero helmets and the like. I love TT bikes. They're sexy. They're fast and they're also expensive. And interestingly enough, according to some research, not the piece of equipment that gains the most time. The cost per watt or second is very high. So with this article as my inspiration I have geared up a little for the 4 or 5 TT's I'll be doing this year.
Skin Suit: I got a brand new Mercury Wheels branded skin suit from a friend for $40. Its tight, like man Spanx. But they feel pretty aero. And with the Spanx like quality they make me look much thinner than I really am!
Aero Bars: I did some basic testing out on the road and my $120 clip-on aero bars are good for at least 2 mph in Zone 2. Not bad!
Aero Helmet: Here's where I had some hesitation. You can easily drop $200 on an aero helmet. So I put it off. But today I found a Louis Garneau Rocket TT helmet on the local classified for $50, so I bought it.
So, I purchased about 2 1/2 minutes of time for $210. With all the time I've put in over the last few months, I hope my motor accounts for a lot more.
I have no GC aspirations for this event. I hope to do well in the crit and help my teammate in the road race. And now with some cool aero equipment, maybe the TT will be an improvement from last year as well. At least with a skin tight suit and a funny helmet I'll at least look the part.