The US Pro Championship Time Trial was this past Saturday and it was an exciting event. Personally, the time trial is my favorite event to race. It is a true test of a cyclist ability to endure pain and keep that voice in their head that is telling them to quit at bay.
Interesting enough, I have never seen professional time trial in real life. I have been a part of numerous amateur races and seen my fair share on TV but this was my first experience in real life. I had a general idea about how to shoot the event and how fast the cyclist would be but this was an eye opener about truly how fast these men were. It’s amazing to see a cyclist exit a roundabout and pick up speed so quickly that the car following the racer has to be at full throttle to catch up. Simply amazing.
The race itself turned out pretty much as expected. It was a two man duel between Levi Leipheimer of Team RadioShack and Taylor Phinney of Trek Livestrong, the two favorites. Both men put in amazing efforts with Taylor setting a course lap record on his first lap, giving Taylor the lead. In the laps that followed Levi gradually cut into Taylor’s lead but in the end his effort was not enough. Taylor won the race by .14 of a second, one of the smallest margins I have seen in a time trial.
After the race we witnessed the awards ceremony and watched as Taylor was hosed down with champagne from the other two podium finishers. As we were leaving I recognized Allen Lim, Sports Physiologist and all around sports science guru for Team RadioShack. I approached him for a short introduction of myself and Vanessa which turned into a 30 minute brain picking session between Allen and my family. He is one super interesting, really cool guy. If you ever see him definitely chat him up. After our conversation with Allen, Taylor Phinney makes his way over to us with Lim (who is Taylor’s coach as well). Beaming from the victory and wreaking of champagne, Taylor happily joins in the conversation. He even does his best version of LeBron on the cover of GQ for a picture. Soon after Taylor came out, he and Allen had to make their way to the hotel for some much deserved recovery and celebration.
I really enjoyed my time at the time trial. The images that follow are from the time trial. Please check out my post on the US Pro Road Race as well.