Eagles – TTT – WTRL 64 Race report

By in Eagles, Team Time Trial
Eagles TT report – Sand and Sequoias – 42.84km – 59m55s
“Ok guys. I am gonna give you something to think about” A Tuesday notification from Alan Glendinning set the wheels in motion for the Eagles this week, and gave rise to the Eagles in the Premier League, on a wild card entry in zone 6, and the Crows, a new team, competing in the usual zone 8.
Two awesome Eagle born teams competing… and in the Premier League as well!!! That alone resulted in 400 messages on the team chat. The excitement and then careful planning ensued.
In part we discussed the fabled PL wild card entry and implications for riders trying to make zone 6, to compete.
Paul Dowey our esteemed captain declared that he would be out as he couldn’t see himself racing at 1:30 am in the morning.
Now Paul has been quite vocal in setting our goals as a squad, and Premier League has been high on the agenda. So missing out would have been quite a hardship for Paul.
Time to step up, so I called him out on the chat and said I would buy his lovely wife flowers and that he should ask her nicely if he could wake up the neighbours at 1:30 am in the morning. He initially declined, but then his legend wife called him a wuss, so he agreed to join in the fun…
The planning was impeccable from the squad and included; bikes and wheels, rotation order (As’ together, then Bs’) length of time on the front (As’ 60s and Bs’ 45s), average power up Titans Grove KOM, and Paul would lead both climbs etc..
We also flew a few sorties and hit the KOM a few times to establish a baseline. 5mins was decided as the baseline, which ended up being 4m40s and 4m36s respectively in the race. Negative splits, well done to the team!
We even envisaged me blowing up at the base of the second climb (thankfully) to give some of the As’ a breather before the second KOM.
Our race order:
Nate Fulcher (Martial Eagle)
Daniel Riddle (green Tron Machine)
Joshua Brown (pink Tron Hard Man)
Paul Dowey (Captain!)
Mike Stensrud (well ridden Mike!)
Sean Stanton
Huwball Bendall (missed the start, unfortunately)
Now to the hard part:
We flew out of the Pen and really crafted a great first lap, everyone pulling evenly at the front of the Eagles. Our buddy and rotation system working smoothly (Nates words), which meant taking your turn and then easing to the back of the bus, which worked well for the first 10km to the rollers and ultimately to Titans Grove KOM, which we cruised over at a nice click. Then onto ‘surprise hill’ for a bit more elevation and down the other side. This was going to be easy.
Nate’s calm voice on discord dominated this first lap, with a few shouts from the squad. Paul was strangely quiet, must have been gagged to keep the noise down. Heading into the second lap I could feel the blowout was coming fairly shortly.
I hit the front for the final time and then announced my departure (about 2km from Titans Grove KOM). My HR was well in the 180s and I am sure that my doctor would be telling me to take it a bit easier.
The legends in the squad blasted off and all I could make out over the heavy breathing was Paul had pulled his planned stunt of taking over the lead, up the KOM (both times). Thereafter Nate’s surreal and calm voice came over discord organising the rotations and the last dash to the line.
Lots of ragged breathing ensued, a great ride Eagles!
Much later on Paul was still wide awake at 3:30am, and all of us trying to get him to go to bed. Paul did you test easy afterwards?
See you next week Eagles 🦅
Thomas De Vos