Early Thursday morning, Chris, Kyle, Steve, and I met to continue the quest for Rutgers World Championship points. After a lap around Busch and Livingston campuses to warm up, we held the first Rutgers WC Individual Time Trial in Johnson Park.
Even as Fabian Cancellara won the other World Championship over in Austria, our grassroots competition was held Eddy Merckx style, mostly because the only team members who own aerobars had early classes. The wind gusting downriver (upriver? i don't even know which way that thing flows), which may have seemed harsh to freshmen Kyle and Steve, was appreciably gently compared to the gales experienced by competitors at the Rutgers Race last spring. With the sun shining, the picturesque stage was set for eye-bleed-inducing competition.
As the only cyclocrosser in attendance, I volunteered to hold for the other 3 riders at the start of the out-and-back course. Naturally, we received more than a few confused stares from passing motorists.
Steve set an early best time, after protesting that he's not a time trialist. Chris charged home next, narrowly besting Steve's time. Kyle, who had never TT'ed before, made a series of bottle-related blunders that cost him an inordinate amount of time. He finished in a time that failed to do justice to his strength on the bike. Having started conservatively on the tailwind leg, I turned around and charged into the headwind fast enough to finish in between Chris' and Steve's respective times (mostly due to my super-sexy skinsuit).
After another lap around the Piscataway campuses, the time had come to race the second ITT. Avoiding the complications of unnecessary mid-ride hydration, Kyle bettered his first ride by a significant margin, resulting in a time just behind that of Steve, who produced consistent, impressive results. Chris got a great start, and looked to be flying on the home stretch. However, digging deep, I just managed to beat his time - again, I attribute much of my speed to the skinsuit, the arms of which encouraged me to "Ride Hard, Ride Fast" (we miss you, Alicia and Alessandro! I know you read this blog!)
So, Chris and I tied for points. However, accounting for equipment, time differentials, and the Badass Index, Chris clearly emerged the winner.
Just to complete the masochistic self-flogging, Chris, Kyle, and I rode a 3-man TTT into the headwind, over the entirety of the park. Despite the efforts of a gaggle of geese (I've always wanted an excuse to use that phrase!) to interfere with our ride, we rode a strong, smooth paceline to once again flaunt the speed limit and scorch the course.
In a post-race press conference, Chris issued a challenge to Cancellara, to determine the true World Champion. Rutgers University Cycling has not yet received a response from Cancellara or the UCI.
This leaves the overall Rutgers WC standings in a state of turmoil:
Will C. ....-4
You may be wondering what happened to Will C's points. The power of Don, Ride Organizer, is great and mysterious.
With Charlie's Rutgers World Champion jersey being kept warm for the week, the competition will continue next Tuesday, with a Hill Sprint / Team Time Trial extravaganza that promises to throw the leaderboard into the depths of anarchy and cause various eyes to bleed.