Jerome Ameline thought he had a good chance of winning the last cycle road race, the 48-mile one around East End, a couple of weeks ago.
It did not quite go to plan and Ameline finished in the chasing pack, but with a 10-mile time trial approaching on Sept. 6, the 40-year-old Frenchman is sure he can do better.
Pedro Lopez Ramos won the last two road races and if he enters the time trial may figure among the winners. Veteran Michele “Mitch” Smith is always a fast time trial rider too.
“I am in good shape for the time trial and will squeeze another two weeks of intense training to get in even better shape,” he said.
He added that the best thing about preparing for a 10-mile time trial is that it does not require so many hours on the bike. One hour a day is sufficient.
A road race or long time trial, like for a triathlon or half Ironman requires much more saddle time.
Ameline is now doing one hour, twice a day – every 12 hours – at intense pace. “That will push my ability to keep a heart rate over 180 beats per minute for the 20 minutes of the race.”
Ameline has won this event many times and will be the favorite, along with Steve Abbott, who is in brilliant form after his cycling trip to the French Alps last month.
“I wish for no misfortune like a flat tire for me or him, I only wish for the best one of us to win,” said Ameline.
He is working on a new bike project which, if it comes ready on time, will make him more aerodynamic and theoretically faster.
“The bike is actually not new, but from 1995,” he said. “It is a kind of prototype carbon fiber bike called C4 and still needs a lot of attention.”
The last 10-mile time trial on South Church Street, starting at Paradise Bar, was in May.
Ameline did a personal best of 20 minutes, 32 seconds, while Abbott won in a time two seconds faster.
“I was disappointed to miss the top step on the podium by only two seconds but quite happy to have established a personal best,” Ameline said.
“Time trial is my best discipline and sprinting is my worst cycling ability despite having the physique of a typical sprinter, as I weigh 180 pounds.”
He attributes his sprinting ability from the days when as a teenager he went to school by bike and he often left home late and had to ride as hard as he could to get there on time.
“I had a school bus card, but was more interested in racing the bus the five miles on my bike because I was challenged by my friends on the bus to see who would arrive at the school first.”