Team BELGIANWERKX sent a contingent down to Crankdaddy’s on March 15th to take part in the 2014 edition of the Team Time Trial event benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The event takes place on Computrainers, with 2 teams of 4 going head to head on a hilly, 10 kilometer course. The Computrainers are programmed to allow “drafting”, so teamwork is vitally important, since the team’s overall time isn’t final until the last rider crosses the line. Participation in the event is expanding, with 11 men’s teams and 4 women’s teams signing up this year.
A little background first. Since we could only have 4 team members on the squad, we held a qualifying event a few weeks back. We rode the same TTT course twice, with a 5 minute break. BRUTAL! After tabulating the results, and factoring in scheduling conflicts, our final roster consisted of Jadon Jaeger, Arlen Spicer, Steve Trebatoski and yours truly (Bill Koehler). Thanks to everyone who participated!
Knowing that teamwork is important, we held a practice session last week. After a nice warm-up (for Jadon & Arlen the warm-up was 90 minutes), we decided to give it a go on the course. We thought we’d go at about 80%, getting used to the drafting and learning how to communicate. 14:35 later we were gassed. It was more like 105%. But we felt confident. That was a pretty good time to lay down without any competition. So Jadon & Arlen kept riding while Steve & I bailed.
So it’s race day. As stated earlier, there are 11 men’s teams registered. So six qualifying heats were scheduled, 5 head-to-head and 1 solo heat. The 4 fastest of the “winning” times would advance to the semi-finals. So in the qualifying heats, it wasn’t just about winning your heat, you needed to go all out because you could still win your heat and not advance. We were in the 2nd heat against a squad from Hampshire Cycle Club (HCC). It went very well, we stayed together and finished in 13:54, which ended up being the fastest qualifying time of the day. So we were seeded #1, the defending champions from LAPT #2, a squad from Racers Against Childhood Cancer (RACC) #3, and our friends from Team Extreme #4.
On to the semi-finals. We were up against Team Extreme, who we all know well and ride with quite a bit during the season. Now strategy comes into play. Because it is true head-to-head. All you need to do is win to advance. We got off to a good start and were able to get a bit of a gap on TE. So we backed off a touch in the last mile or so and came across the line at 14:35 feeling pretty fresh. In the 2nd semi, LAPT went out hard and broke the spirit of RACC, who decided to sit-up and save their energy for the 3rd place heat against Team Extreme. So the final was set, Team Belgianwerkx against LAPT. A ragtag bunch of Masters Cat 3’s (Arlen/Bill), a rising Cat 3 (Jadon) and sandbagging Cat 4 (Steve) against a well-oiled crew of Cat 1 & 2 Elite racers. David against Goliath. Tom against Jerry. You get the point. Even though we had the fastest run of the day, I don’t think anyone was betting big money on us.
So we tried to stay loose and warm while the consolation heat was running. RACC defeated Team Extreme for 3rd place, and now it was time. 3..2..1..GO! I’m probably not the best guy to recap the race, cuz it’s all kind of fuzzy. I just know that both teams were going balls to the wall. LAPT edged ahead of us slightly, and maintained that small advantage throughout. But not pulling away. And wouldn’t you know, we were starting to pull even going into the last section of the course. Even though my heartbeat was pounding in my ears, I could hear the spectators going nuts. Could we pull-off the upset? The last ¼ mile is uphill, I heard Arlen yell “GO GO GO” and we gave it everything that we had left. But it just wasn’t meant to be, we came up a little bit short. LAPT was in @ 13:44 and we finished @ 13:48. We gave them a run for their money. Speaking of money, LAPT earned $500 for the win, we received $300 for 2nd and RACC picked-up $200 for 3rd. But we all kicked that back to JDRF, benefiting a great cause.
So a good time was had by all. Special thanks go out to the organizers, especially our good riding buddy Bill Koch. And to our host Eric Kuhagen of CrankDaddys, you and your outstanding crew turned a chaotic scene into an efficient, well-run event! And closer to home, I’d like to thank our superstar Jadon Jaeger for all of his efforts organizing the qualifier, practice session and race day. We’ll get ‘em next year!
Bill Koehler: President/Owner of Wisconsin Discount Securities Corp. Born & raised in Mequon, currently resides in Cedarburg with wife Jo, 2 college boys, 2 dogs & 2 cats. Passionate about bikes, enjoys Masters road, crit & cyclocross racing. But most of all, just loves RIDING!