Race Saiko advice (Tokyo Enduro, TT Japan)

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,594
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Niigata
#1


I'll race the Time Trial Japan 3rd stage and Tokyo Enduro at Saiko on March 10th.

http://www.tokyoenduro.jp/saiko/

I've done the enduro 3 or 4 times.

But it's the first time to do the Time Trial.

I know @theBlob & @Mlac Peek ride Saiko regularly. So I'm looking for any advice on how to ride it.

The TT will be 2 laps.

Here's a video of a guy doing one lap.


In my experience (in this vid too) the long outward leg is usually a head wind.

I'm wondering where you get more shelter? On the left or on the right?

At the top end of the course you meet the speed bumps. To get your best time would you go over them or around the side? If so, left or right? On a TT bike and trying to stay in TT position, I'm thinking it may be best to go around them...

On the back straight, usually it's a tailwind. I think the right side of the road is fastest here? Or down the middle?

Finally, in terms of wear, how cold is it at around 7am early March???

Thanks for any input!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
2,512
2,191
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#2
I can’t give you any advice regarding the course as I’ve never ridden it despite living only a few kms away, however I hope to get down there and cheer you on. Would be nice finally meeting you in person ;)
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#3
That would be great!

This is the schedule:

http://www.tokyoenduro.jp/saiko/outline/

TT is 7 till 9. The boys will also do it so I'll guide them around. Hopefully I'll set off last or there abouts.

Then I'll do the first 2h of the Enduro from 940, before handing over to my new secret weapon!

Kids will do the kids race after the enduro too.

Entry is still open if you want to give it a go.

I'd love to meet you and the boys would be excited to meet the dog.

Cheers,

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Mlac Peek

Peek pace master
Jun 12, 2012
360
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Toda, Saitama
#4
On the outward leg I’d favour the right side. The northerly winds tend to pick up across the lake and come at you from the left so the first section after the bridge you might need to push the wattage up a bit. Once you get past the car park/picnic area there is shelter until the football field/softball pitch on the right, and the open lake on the left - this is the worst spot for headwind, there is no protection and the wind may come at you from either the NE or the NW. Push hard through it but leave enough to attack the rise.

I always go around the speed bumps on the left side when there are no walkers, runners or dogs but I think they put cones down on race day. No problem because you can take them on the right side too, but watch out for the fence, which feels closer than it is. They have recently repainted the speed bumps and added a central white line all the way around the course. If cones block both right and left channels, the centre white line is your best bet for a smoother transition over those pesky little mounds.

Down the back straight I start on the left and move to the right. Use your speed coming onto the back straight but save major power for the middle section, which has a very subtle flat spot (and sometimes a weird side-headwind) leading up to the trees planted neatly in a row on the left. Once past those, put the hammer down and fly.

Push push push, and push again over the bridge, most people will lose time here.

Temperatures recently have been around zero degrees at 7am. The lowest I've seen this winter is -7° at dawn but this week only -2°. Positively balmy!

I'd say attack the corners and transition areas too but the amount of space the organizers allow with the little yellow cones leaves much to be desired. Stay safe.

Good luck! It’s a great little course to suffer on for two laps at max threshold. If I’m around on the day I’ll come and say hello and give some support - it’d be a pleasure to meet you and your boys in person.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,863
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#5
I agree with Peek. If it’s a northerly you want to be RHS heading north, on the rhs of the speed bumps, and rhs on the back straight. Also like he said it is almost a false flat down the first half of the back straight, once you see the trees on your right it sort of flattens out and you’ll also get into the wind again.

I think they half cone the road over the bridge so taking that last bend may be where it is won and lost, I have taken the last corner onto the bridge at full tilt while peddling, but my shoes bottomed out doing it. They will also strike coming off the bridge at full stretch as it goes a bit off cambre out wide. It’s a little downhill after the bridge so it’s a good spot to make sure your momentum is in full swing to pick up speed for the run to the line.

Best of luck!!

I’ll pop down for a gander too if it works out!
 
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andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#6
Cheers for the advice. I'm lucky to have the inside scoop. Having ridden the course a few times I can picture exactly where you are talking about.

So basically keep right on the home straight. Dig in a bit where it is exposed before the rise. Down the right hand side of the speed bumps (hopefully get a chance to practice this when I follow the boys around). And then drift out to the right on the back straight.

Push push push, and push again over the bridge, most people will lose time here.

Good point. Will need need to practice that. I've only done one race on this TT bike and did the whole course locked in position on the bars. But I may need to be out of the saddle over the bridge. Will try to find something similar here to try to work out the best strategy.

I think they half cone the road over the bridge so taking that last bend may be where it is won and lost, I have taken the last corner onto the bridge at full tilt while peddling, but my shoes bottomed out doing it. They will also strike coming off the bridge at full stretch as it goes a bit off cambre out wide. It’s a little downhill after the bridge so it’s a good spot to make sure your momentum is in full swing to pick up speed for the run to the line.

Yes I think they'll cone it off. However, in the TT I think I'll be able to use the width of the road for the turn onto the bridge if necessary.

I find the second corner off the bridge more tricky, just in terms of dropping speed and getting back up to speed again. Again something to practice beforehand.

Anyway, I won't take too much risks on those corners and just concentrate on doing the damage on the two long straights and the speed bump section.

Hopefully see a few of you there!

Cheers,

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
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#7
I'd sometimes ride around Saiko but not really at that level so can't give any useful advice. At first I thought I have Yatsugatake climbing scheduled, but that was for the next weekend 3/17-18. So maybe pop up myself for a cheer, it's just 10km from me.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
#11
I've just done a reccy of the course on the trainer.

Great advice so far from @theBlob & @Mlac Peek


In addition to the speed bumps on the top end of the lake, there are 2 bumps on the first rise. Would you go around these?

Entering the back straight there is some grating. This is carpeted over on race day. But there are a couple of bumps marked out with a masking tape "X" on race day. Is there a preferred line through here?

Looking at tomorrow's weather, it seems to be getting warmer.



Starting closer to 9, I might get away with undershirt, skinsuit, arm warmers, lycra shoe covers and gloves???

Cheers for the input!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#12
On the first riser, I’d say the go over the the first bump and around the second . You will have too much speed to effectively get around the first speed hump I would say.
The back straight is nothing to worry about, but coming into the last bridge there are two bumps that will pop you out of the saddle if you don’t have a good line. On the inside as you hit the bridge there is a metal man hole cover stay just to the right of that and it is a smooth line onto the bridge.

Best of luck, it turns out I can’t make it due to family stuff but I’ll be cheering from afar!
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#13
On the first riser, I’d say the go over the the first bump and around the second . You will have too much speed to effectively get around the first speed hump I would say.
The back straight is nothing to worry about, but coming into the last bridge there are two bumps that will pop you out of the saddle if you don’t have a good line. On the inside as you hit the bridge there is a metal man hole cover stay just to the right of that and it is a smooth line onto the bridge.

Best of luck, it turns out I can’t make it due to family stuff but I’ll be cheering from afar!
Great stuff! Cheers!

Are you sure you don't fancy an early morning pre race pre family reconnaissance mission?!?!?!

I'm sure I can bring some tasty niigata omiyagi to stuff in your jersey pockets as reward!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#15
I’ll do my best mate!
Cheers! But don't worry.

Usually I ride from the hotel, do a few laps, and the family rolls up later. But this time the kids have a 7:30 start time:


http://www.timetrial.jp/2017/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/80015f766f5043aa62e41c0889769935.pdf

So we'll probably be busy just getting them there and ready.

I reckon it will take the youngest boy about 15 minutes to get round. My start time is 8:15, so I won't have much time for a warm up.

Ideally I'd take the trainer but it'll be a hassle to take it from the car park. Is there a good stretch of road nearby to raise the HR on????

Cheers,

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#16
Yep, the bank above the back straight has a road on it that you can easily access and ride back and forth on. It’s a 7.4 km lap.
Also the front straight now has a white painted line right up the middle of it that feels faster than when on the road, but of course that road is a slight curve so you will ride an extra m or so if you don’t sit on the inside of the curve.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
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#17
Basic plan for tomorrow is to ride from the hotel and try to arrive by 6.

I'll spend 40 minutes checking the course, with focus on the best lines on the straights, a route through the speed bumps at the top side, and particular attention to practicing the 2 right angle corners at the bottom side.

I'll do registration at 6:45.

Meet the kids in the parking area at 7.

Kids TT at 7:30.

My TT at 8:15.

First leg of the enduro 10 to 12.

And kids race after 12.

Bit of a tight schedule, but hope to see some of you there!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
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andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
#20
Time Trial Japan Stage 3 Race Report


time trial japan stage 3 on saturday

**the course**

2 laps of lake saiko in tokyo

2 long straights
one with a headwind
one with a tailwind

some speedbumps!
a chicane!

and two tricky right angle bends

heavy rain the day before leaves standing water and sand in places

not in the mood to crash!

**the strategy**

I know this course well

I'm also lucky to have valuable insight from the TCC guys who ride it regularly

I plan to make most gains on the long straights

as leader of the series
I need to keep consistent
and put time into my rivals

take no risks
as a crash will ruin everything

I see Fred as my biggest rival on race day
his numbers on strava tell me this course will be good for him too

I share my inside knowledge with him though
cycling is a great sport
where rivals become friends

**course reccy and warm up**

a couple of laps are enough to work out the lines to take

an extra lap with mark as I follow him for his TT

"can we stop and feed the ducks?"
"pedal on son!"

back at the start area

no time for a proper warm up
no time to raise the HR
just high cadence x 3 to loosen the legs

**start time**

Fred has set a blistering pace of 13+ mins, 44+ kph

the japan national TT champion "only" did 43kph on this course

http://funride.jp/announce/tokyoenduro20xx_playback_1/

I wasn't expecting to need to do 44!

2nd to last off the ramp

before me 2nd in the series Yamakura san

behind me stage 2 winner Kouno san

"do your best!" "do your best!"

rivals become friends

Yamakura san takes a standing start

no hold this time?

starting 30s later I take a standing start too

later I realize I could have had a holding start...

**3,2,1 Go!**

out of the rough pit area complete with puddles and loose gravel

enter the home straight
still out of the saddle as I kick her up to speed

the headwind

some riders will be broken here

I'm surprised I can hit 40kph plus

still I'm more concerned with getting in the zone: 170HR

and keeping a sustainable cadence: 90rpm

round the top of the lake
two climbs and speedbumps

the average speed drops here

but the back straight is where time is made

the usual strong tailwind

flying down here

the two right angle bends

the race can be lost here

no risks

**lap 2**

Yamakura san in sight

time to turn it up a notch

fight the headwind

round the top of the lake

the back straight

my plan is to empty the tank here

quickly into the 54x11
grinding out 50kph at 80rpm

pass my 30s man Yamakura san
"keep going!"
friends become rivals

no risks through the corners

**the final metres**

the heaviest gear I can
wrestling the cranks
chugging for air

goal!

・13:31, 44.34kph

should be enough to win it!

but Fred's even faster!

**the result**



2nd place
3 seconds off the top

**the series**

1 win
2 close placed 2nds
sees me still leading the series

・1298 points

bring on stage 4 in may!