TREMONT — For those who are just coming down from the excitement of the Tour de France, a miniature version is slated for Sunday, Aug. 23, when the Downeast Bicycle Club hosts the third annual MDI Time Trial.
The 14-mile ride is the 11th race in the Peak Performance Maine Time Trial Series presented by Aegis Racing Bikes.
The time trial began three years ago when event organizer Dean Read, who knew about the Maine Time Trial Series, planted the seed.
“I thought it would be good to have one of those events on the island,” Read said.
The event has attracted nearly 50 participants in the past, according to Read.
“There are some very strong riders. Some here from the island and some from all over the state,” Read said. “The guy that wins it every year is a guy named Fred Thomas. He does our course something in excess of 27 mph.”
A time trial start involves a staggered start as opposed to the mass start at a regular road race. For the MDI Time Trial, the first rider will start at 9 a.m. Other riders will start 30 seconds apart. The start order will be determined by when the rider registers. The first rider to register will be the first to start and so on.
Competitors are not permitted to draft (ride in the slipstream) behind each other. Any help between riders is forbidden. The rider with the fastest time is declared the winner.
The course starts at the Tremont Community Center and heads north on Pretty Marsh Road (Route 102) to the northern intersection of the Cape Road and Pretty Marsh Road, and returns to the 102A connector road. The course is moderately hilly with total elevation change of 627 feet.
The finish has been changed this year. It used to end at the Tremont Community Center, but it has been changed to a bit farther down the road.
“There was quite a bit of congestion last year,” Read said. “Our traffic control guys did a fantastic job but from an organizer’s standpoint it wasn’t as safe as it could be. Mike Higgins has given us permission to set our timing car up between the two ends of his circular driveway. That has much less traffic on it.”
Even though the ride draws some intense competition, all riders wanting to test their mettle are urged to sign up.
“We do keep track of times, and it is quite competitive, but we do encourage first-time time trialists because, as in every other event, there are people there to compete, there are also people that are there just to see how well they can do,” said Read. “It is for everyone, not just the elite cyclist. It is for anyone who just wants to get out there and challenge themselves.”
The Peak Performance Maine Time Trial Series consists of 13 total races throughout the course of the summer. To earn series prizes, riders must compete in a minimum of four races. Riders accrue points for each race with their top eight scores counting toward their overall score. The higher the athlete places, the more points he or she receives. The male and female with the highest points at the end of the season will receive the perpetual trophies. The top placers in all divisions will win prizes at individual races as well as at the year-end celebration.
As of the most recent race, Fred Thomas is the men’s overall leader with 59 points, with Doug Chiasson in second with 50 and Harris Navelski in third with 29 points. In the women’s overall competition, Marianne Stover is in first with 68 points, Erin Brennan is second with 59 points, and former MDI resident Chessell McGee is third with 51 points. Bar Harbor resident Liddy Hubbell is in fourth place with 37 points.
The host Downeast Bicycle Club is a group of riders that gathers on a regular basis to train and compete. Visit www.downeastbicycleclub.org to find out more about training rides, club benefits and upcoming events.
There are a variety of prizes on the list for participants of the event.
“Mark Rosborough of J.T. Rosborough Insurance had donated $50 first prizes for the fastest man and fastest woman,” Read said. “We will also offer raffle prizes at the end of the race giving all participants a chance to win regardless of how fast you are. The Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop is a major sponsor and has donated gift certificates that we are going to raffle off.”
There are awards for first, second and third place in each age division. There are also awards for overall first-place male and first-place female and awards for fastest male and fastest female first-time time trialists.
Riders interested in entering the time trial have several options available. The cost to pre-register is $15, with first time pre-registrants getting a discounted price of $10. Registrations on the morning of the event will cost $20. To enter online, visit www.bikereg.com. Contact Read at [email protected] to have a registration form e-mailed to you. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23.
Volunteers to help with the event are needed. Anyone interested should call Read at 288-2232 for more information.
For more sports news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.