This past weekend, some members of the Blue Mountain Velo race squad went down to compete in the Franklin County Cyclists Inaugural Tour De Brandt’s Time Trial.  In previous years, Franklin County Cyclists had put on the Grindstone Time Trial.  They moved it to a new location for this year which included a safer course (more right hand turns v left hand turns on the Grindstone course), as well as real restrooms (IYKYK), and a larger start/finish area with a large parking lot.  Here’s each racer’s recap of their race.

Thanks to On-Time Productions for the photos!

The Team At The Event

L-R, Jim Colonna, Chrissy Colonna, Trevor Slade, Mat Hazzard, Megan Barto, Loren Barisch

Trevor Slade’s Recap

I traveled to Franklin county for just my 3rd time trial ever. I was kind of nervous because my training has been inconsistent so I had no idea how it would go. I made a huge rookie error in trying to upgrade my bike the day before the event. Unfortunately It was an epic failure. My tires didn’t seed properly on the bead and because I waited too late, we couldn’t fix them. So the bike vibrated worse than the Mercedes W13 f1 car. Changing the rear cluster failed so, I had to avoid the 2 biggest gears, so the bike became a 7 speed. The brakes were not aligned correctly with the new rims I put on it, so I had essentially no brakes. They were vibrating as well when used. I knew however that I had good form and as I have done many times over the years, I knew I had to adapt and make the most out of a not perfect situation.

So, I rode as hard as I could, vibration and all. First 5 miles I was holding almost a 27 mph average and surprisingly I passed 4 people. I barely missed a rider in front of me when he took a turn too fast and went onto the grass, I was amazed he didn’t crash. I finally got passed by the guy who started behind me and surprisingly for about 3 miles he was not pulling away from me that much, despite riding a high end time trial bike. I started to fade when I got to mile 7 and the course was becoming hillier. I made sure to make myself ride in the saddle and avoid standing up. As I saw the finish line ahead I sprinted the best I could and came across the line with a 22.8 mph average. The exact average I got at the 443 tee tee time trial in August. So, I was pretty happy with it considering the bike was really hard to ride. At the podium ceremony I didn’t think in a million years that I would get a medal since my age group 25-29 usually is pretty cutthroat. To my surprise I was the only one in the category and I was shocked. I haven’t been on a podium in any sport since my running season in 2017. I had a respectable 22nd place finish overall out of 55 racers.  This year has been really hard physically and I have continued to grind, claw, and rethink my way to better fitness. Slowly I am getting there. Overall the course was amazing and I can’t wait to come back next year. Hopefully without messing my bike up but it was a learning experience nevertheless.

Matt Hazzard’s Recap

Averaged 18.9 at the 443 TT, did 19.1 at the Le Brandts TT.  I didn’t feel as energetic for this one for some reason.  I was out of gas at the 6 mile mark so finishing on a hill didn’t feel great.  I did have some issues with the bike, my front wheel had a lot of side to side play in it which I noticed after.  It’s a 12 year old bike with even older wheels, it’s going to need some TLC in the offseason

Loren Barisch’s Recap

Morning weather; cloudy/overcast with light wind, 73 degrees F.
With an all new course this year, a preview was in order for me.  The 10 mile course unfolded with a mostly rolling and downhill first half and longer false-flat second half with several mild climbs combined with longer length pitched sections.
The race was relatively straight forward for me.  I was not completely pleased with not knowing who was in my category because of the way the sponsoring club does not group or publicize entries.  Nevertheless, I felt good and performed as expected.  Tall corn and sharp 90 degree turns caused noticeable time loss for me.  Otherwise, the course was very good and would recommend it to anyone and plan to attend next year.  I was able to secure a first place finish in the men’s 40-45 year old category with a third place overall event finish.

Jim Colonna’s Recap

It was a colder morning than we have had lately at the start of the Tour De Brandts annual Time Trial. After a rather long drive Chrissy and I arrived ready to roll. The atmosphere in the lot was friendly and has been this season unlike prior years before covid where the egos are blaring.
I rode a full warm up and even surprised myself did not get lost. The chip timing sticker is a cool idea. but sometimes rubs against shorts depending on the wind direction and can be annoying. Velcro too…stick to zip ties.  I lined up at my randomly selected start time and watched riders go off and some miss the first turn. I started slow due to the short distance before the first turn and then powered up my 10 pedal strokes and held a nice FTP average power leaving VO2 power available for climbs. Although the course profile does not look bumpy, it had its moments. The tail wind was fast and sent me flying down the stretch. Once on the Millersburg road, a huge anchor held me back in the form of a cross-headwind. Without being on a TT bike I just remained low on the hoods and hooks and kept the power pouring through the cannons into the pedals. I quickly made the final right turn and gave everything I had left in the tank. Although, I am very happy with my TT racing this year,with good results –today it was 7/10. Non-aero will never beat Aero TT bikes. This is a sticking point for me and I believe all TT races, USA Cycling Sanctioned or not, should have non-aero divisions for actual podim placements. I mean, why not, with memberships down across the board, it could (because who knows really) help bring more people into racing. TT is a great way to get new road riders involved due to the atmosphere of mass start races with less risk to the riders. If all bikes are aero TT setups with no chance of placing, it just keeps people at arms length from the spandex gang. Overall I had a good day.

Chrissy Colonna’s Recap

This is a great course with a couple of punchy little rollers but over-all fairly flat on good roads. It was a beautiful morning. A slight wind but a good temperature and sunny. The first 4 miles felt nice with the wind at my back over the first set of gentle rollers, I burned my matches a little early since the first part of the course was so fast. Beginning at mile 5 my legs kept spinning but my power dropped due to the cross/headwind and headwind that was behind me from the start. A few more punchy rollers and a push to the finish capped off my day with a satisfying result. It was a great time with great people. I was 2nd in my age group with a time of 31:26

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