The Redlands Time Trial is a fast 11 km out and back. On the way out this course is a stepping climb with the toughest part of the climb in the last two kilometres, and it was a tricky one to pace for a number of reasons: rough roads, grinding climbs, and fast down hills. The plan was simple: target three specific powers on the way out, climb the last kicker as hard as possible without blowing up, then lay it all out on the way home. I had a big chain ring on my fast Speed Concept Trek TT bike and knew I could carry good speed down the hills.
The plan worked well on the way out except for the fact I was pedalling squares. In a TT pedal stroke fluidity is key, a constant strong circular pedal stoke is critical. As with all stage races as time and Km's march on, fatigue settles in and it is challenging to perform at your best. Squares aside, it was a really fun TT course with a very fast down hill and a screaming fast finish - the last stretch is a three km 3% down hill grade. So as long as one can claw their way over the last hill, much damage can be done on the last decent.
Weather was right. The usually intense Californian sun that had been so punishing in the first stage was replaced with cool temperatures and rain clouds. A welcomed change for a Vancouverite.
TT done everyone was looking forward to the next stage, the infamous Redlands crit.