New underground time trial series comes to Phoenix

A new, unpermitted weekly time-trial series will go off in December on a road known as a prime TT location.

Riders will sign a waiver, don a number and be timed for seven miles heading eastbound on Sonoran Desert Drive from the Apache Wash Trailhead in Cave Creek.

“Hopefully it draws more interest to the sport and aerodynamics, brings the roadies and triathletes together for bragging rights and provides prep up to the Valley of the Sun stage race,” said James Kramer, owner of FASTER Wind Tunnel, Retail and Cycling Performance Center.

FASTER will host the series, complete with timers on both ends and results posted online, Kramer said.

Louisa Larson (Team Winded), who has made a practice of blowing past her competition at time trials, said she welcomes the series as a training opportunity.

“As a time trialist you can train hard, but there’s nothing like an actual race to push the limits,” Larson said. “I have found that I can suffer much longer in a race than I can in practice. I’m excited to have more opportunities to race and get into the pain cave.”

Kramer said the purpose of the series is to promote more interaction between cyclists and triathletes.

Lewis Elliot (TriScottsdale), who is a triathlete, cyclist and this year’s winner of the Tour de Scottsdale, said he hopes the new time trial series will bring out athletes from both sports.

“I did these weekly as a youth,” Elliot said. “They’re such a great opportunity to hone your time trial skills and try out new equipment and strategies.”

The series offers a possiblity to encourage triathletes to bridge to other types of racing, said Lindsey Ryder (Tribe Multisport), a triathlete who successfully made the transition to cycling.

“It’s a really good way to get triathletes comfortable with cycling-specific races and introduce them to other styles of racing,” Ryder said.

Larson added, “I’m for whatever it takes to get more people out enjoying their bikes.”

The 7-mile time “FASTER Underground Time Trial” series will start Dec. 4 and take place every Thursday for 10 weeks except on Christmas Day. Beginning each Thursday at 7 p.m., riders must sign up before 6:45 p.m.

The series will end on Feb. 5, the week before the Valley of the Sun stage race, unless others want it to continue, Kramer said.

Sarah Muench