Caleb Bender takes Gold in TT Challenge
PCC athlete Caleb Bender competed in the 2020 Time Trial Challenge at Westshore Velodrome in Victoria last month coming away with a gold medal. Here is his account of the competition.
Mid August last year I was wrapping up a long season of racing with the track provincial championships, slowly shifting from a race every other weekend to off-season base miles. Of course 2020 is far from a typical year. August 22 marked my first race weekend since February, with a day of safely run and social distanced individual timed events courtesy of the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association. With a few weeks of Dr. Walker/PCC track time in the legs and a bike themed mask for between races, it was time to get back to racing.
The day consisted of three timed events, with different age groups running at different times throughout the day to minimize athletes on track at one time. A flying 200m kicked things off, followed by the Kilo and the Individual Pursuit. With minimal wind it was set to be a good day against the clock, and I was looking forward to testing the legs at race pace for the first time in quite a while. The weekend also presented an opportunity for me to do my first 4km IP in a race.
Despite being a day of solo efforts under the conditions of the new normal we all know so well now, the time trial challenge still felt like any other race day. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d miss all the planning and prep involved pre and post race, but the warm-up, recovery, and nutrition between events oddly provided the atmosphere I’d missed in this “training year.” Even a bit of the pre-race nerves kicked in!
Overall, I was satisfied with the efforts I had on the weekend, setting a new PB in the 200m and pushing myself for my first 4km IP. Another plus from the weekend was the chance to identify what needed a little bit of fine tuning in my efforts. Finding the little things that I could work on gave the chance to set some motivating short-term goals: something that is always tricky to do in the necessary absence of competition.
My thanks go out to the GVVA for hosting a safe and responsibly run day of racing. I’d also like to thank Houshang and Pacific Cycling Centre for the training, direction, and support over the past few months (and years). Looking forward to what comes next, whatever that may be!