I have had a solid training season with a good amount of climbing, etc. Here are some observations.
- The first out and back was a bit longer than I thought and the little climb at the end that you go over and then back over is a little stinger. It seems like it would be easy to hit that too hard coming out of t1.
- The ride back to town is flat and fast.
- Be careful at the sharp right hand turn to go north. It's more than 90 degrees and your are cooking through town.
- The "out" of the northern loop is generally pretty flat and should be a good place to pick up some speed / time. The profile shows it as going uphill but it didn't feel like it.
- Once you get into the harder section of the course, the rollers start right away. All that you have heard is true, you are generally either going up or down for the next 15 miles. I would highly recommend driving the course if you cant ride it just to get a sense for how long you'll be out there. It's one of those courses that could get to you mentally as the "little" hills just keep going. I got a bit north / south disoriented at some points because it also turns a lot. My mental notes from this section include: keep eating, especially on the downhills. Make sure to keep momentum going into the hills and don't rest over the crests as there are many hills with false summits. Covet speed on the downhills, stay aero as long as possible. Be attentive to sharp turns, try to take the turns in a line that allows for minimum / no braking. There are some steep little pitches that are short, but don't get caught in the big ring. I did lots of big ring - small ring shifts. Good shifting will be important - NO dropped chains. Generally, I think the key to the hilly section is just being technically sound. Also, don't spike power on the little stingers. Without looking down, I was pushing 375w several times without knowing it. (My race day cap will be 290ish). Don't loose time from being in the wrong gear, not eating, or loosing speed unnecessarily.
- The ride back to town will be fast also, although not as "downhill" as I thought. Make sure to save some bike ride gas to be able to push this on loop 2. You won't be free wheeling the whole way.
That's it for now. We are headed out to do 3 of the hilly loops today. I'll try and post some run course thoughts after Friday morning.