Suffolk, Va Hampton Roads' Southside Tri & Cycles hosted the first Time Trial of the Virginia Cycling Association's 2012 racing season Sunday March 25. Overcast conditions, mild temperatures and a moderate north wind greeted the 135 riders who showed up to test themselves on the 41 km (25.6 mi) course.
Blue Wheel Bicycles co-owner, Roger Friend, won the 50+ division with a time of 55:30, a time topped only by two other riders competing in the elite division. Asked about his personal record setting time, Friend remarked "I had a great day and paced myself really well. I made the hardest effort in the last quater of the race when the headwind was the strongest. My Trek 9 Series Speed Concept really gave me an advantage by harnessing all my effort and not wasting any energy overcoming extra wind resistance. In a time trial a fast bike and a fast position can be the difference between winning and loosing."
Unlike mass start races, time trails are a completely individual effort. Riders start 1 minute apart and the time it takes them to cover the course is recorded. Riders overtaking slower riders are prohibited from using the slipstream of the other riders. The rider with the lowest elapsed time wins. Often call "the race of truth" time trials are a test of strength, pacing ability and mental fortitude. They are also, increasingly, an arms race of aerodynamic technology. Since they are an exercise in sustained average speed, optimized aerodynamics makes a bigger impact in time trails than any other cycling discipline.