6-12-24 Hour World Time Trials
Last updated 11/21/2023 at 1:43pm
Cyclists from all over the world traveled to Borrego Springs to compete in the annual 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships earlier this month.
In the 6-hour category, which started on the last day of the time trial weekend, rookie Kurt Holt (USA) powered out 145.2 miles in 6 hours (24.7 miles per hour average) to win the 6-hour men's age 40 – 49 win, and to take the overall solo win as well.
Last year, a rookie also took the overall solo win in the category, who put in 145.2 miles (24.2 mph average). And of course, that rookie was Holt, clocking in the same mileage and average.
Leah Thorvilson (USA), a complete rookie to ultra cycling, also had a great day here in Borrego Springs during the 6-hour portion. The Arkansas native won the women's 40 – 49 category, and was the overall solo women's winner as well with her tally of 132 miles (22.8 mph average).
Her mileage came painfully close to the women's 6-hour record held by Felicity Joyce who posted 136.8 miles in 2019.
"I knew that I was really close to the record," Thorvilson revealed minutes after her finish. "So I sent it as hard as I could. But I missed having my last 4-mile count by like 30 seconds. So that's a little bit painful. I know exactly where I could have lost 30 seconds – but it's okay."
While she's a rookie to ultra-cycling, Thorvilson is a long-time elite-level road cyclist, "I was a runner before going to cycling," she noted. "I raced World Tour for two years and I've raced domestic elite on the 3T QNM team for the last five years."
Thorvilson told more of her rookie experience "I have to say it went well! It hurt a lot. It was hard!" "I didn't know what to expect. This is my first ultra, so...the last 90 minutes were very testing. And then my ear bud died with about an hour to go – the worst time to not have music. "I don't even know how I would say that that was a goal. The main goal was to have fun regardless of the result."
And fun she had – though coming so close to not just winning, but taking the record is surely in her thoughts. "Late in the race I realized that there was a chance for the record, but I was slowing down and hurting. But to even have a chance at the record – Felicity – I don't even know her. But she's clearly an impressive athlete. To just be close to being on the same level, I have to be happy about that."
USA Cycling category 3 road racer Jesse Hogin (USA) dominated the 24-hour Male Solo age 30 – 39 category with a final tally of 505.2 miles (21.1 mph average).
Hogin's mileage was not only 49.2 miles greater than that of second-place Ben Schauland (USA), it also put Hogin into the "500 Club."
Third place Caleb Sprayberry (USA), a member of this year's second place two-man team at the Race Across the West, came to Borrego Springs determined to also break the 500-mile barrier, was having "one of those days," yet still managed to post a very respectable 415.2 miles.
"It didn't go as planned, at all," he wrote on his Facebook page, "But that's racing. Made a few mistakes at the beginning that caused me to lose time I didn't have. At 12 hours in, I knew I wasn't on pace to crack 500. I'm super proud of my fitness going into this race and although I didn't meet my goal I'm happy with my performance. Ultimately the goal is always to finish, which I did, at least crack 400, which I did, and not die in the process!"
Hand cyclist Wendy Larsen (USA) made her way around the 18-mile WTTC route to amass 217 miles aboard her low-slung machine in the 24-hour category.
Back in June, Larsen started the Race Across the West aboard her handcycle. Turning the cranks mere inches above the hot pavement she managed to make it to the finish in Durango, Colorado after 6 days, 7 hours, and 33 minutes of turning the cranks. While that was long after the mandated time cutoff of 3 days and 20 hours, you've got to admire the focus and desire that kept her going.
Isa Pulver (Switzerland) almost didn't come to Borrego Springs for the 2023 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships (WTTC). Shortly after taking the overall solo win in this year's Race Across America (RAAM), she hit an animal (a boar maybe) while on a training ride, severely injuring her right shoulder. It was only a couple of weeks prior to WTTC that her doctor cleared her to race.
Pulver made the best of her American visit, winning not only the women's 24-hour age 50 – 59 class, but the overall solo women's honor as well with 451.2 miles.
She surpassed all goals, saying, "My mileage is more than I thought. No problems. Nothing. In the end it was hot, but I prefer hot to rain. In Switzerland we have rain. So I like it that it is sunny here."
Pulver has quite a full season with her mind set on multiple races next year.
"At Christmas, I start again with the training. And next year, probably, Race Across Italy, and Race Around Poland, and maybe a year later I come back to America. I don't know. I take it season by season. I'm not the youngest anymore," she said.
Second place in the 50 – 59 was Tami Kerns (USA) with 330 miles. She was third in this category last year with 384 miles (16.2 mph avg.). Kerns was half of the "Dos Amigos" two-person team that completed RAAM last year, and two years ago she won RAW's Solo Female Age 50 – 59 class, finishing the 928 miles in 3 days, 18 hours, and 15 minutes (10.29 mph average).
Third with 158.4 miles went to 51-year-old Tracy Betts (USA), the sole rookie in the category. She came from North Pole, Alaska, which despite its name, is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole).
In the 40 – 49 category for the 24-hour women's came Christie Tracy (USA) with 420 miles, 22.8 miles short of her 2022 tally, but still enough for her to take the category win as third solo woman overall.
Tracy, who put in a stunning ride in this year's Race Across the West to take the overall women's victory and third solo overall, had some scary moments that led to her taking a two-hour break.
"I've never had asthma or anything, but I had some – I couldn't breathe starting on lap five," she explained at the finish. "My heart rate skyrocketed by about 40 beats a minute and wouldn't come down. Then I got some stabbing pain in my heart and realized it was probably not a good idea to continue. I stopped for two and a half, three hours I think. I thought my race was over. But after talking to my coach and to my husband who's a former EMT – we let my heart rate come down and I was breathing again – we did some oxygen and we put me back on course as a trial. But I promised that if I had any more stabbing pain that I'd stop immediately. And fortunately, I did not. It was scary, 'cause I didn't want to do anything – you're walking that fine line. 'Is this something I should push through, or am I going to do permanent damage. It was about an hour of back-and-forth, 'Am I going to go back out?' 'No, I'm not.' 'Yes I am,' 'No, I'm not.' Then we finally said that I would try, but very cautiously. I went out really easy and then gradually built it back up to make sure I didn't aggravate anything."
Second place in the women's 40 – 49 with 392.4 miles went to Ziortza Villa (Spain) a regular at WTTC, who said, "The world championship is always a difficult race, I managed to have a very stable race and fought until the end, so I ended this season very satisfied."
Last year's 24-hour 20 – 29 winner Jonathon Bush (USA) did it again this year with an increase in his mileage to 410.4 miles, which earned him third place.
Second-place Evan Dominick (USA) wasn't far behind. The Pennsylvanian finished with a tally of 400.8 miles, with Paul Wickward (USA) taking third with 382.8 miles.
Ryan Collins (USA) was the odds-on favorite to be the overall solo winner of this year's 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships (WTTC) after having achieved overall and 20 – 29 age category victory in each of the past two years. He didn't disappoint with his tally of 276 miles, which may have been slightly down from previous years, (271.2 miles in 2022, 280.8 miles in 2021) but it was still enough for him to take the win in the 12-hour 20 – 29 category, and the overall solo victory as well.
Collins wasn't quite as confident at the start of this year's competition. "I didn't sleep last night," he revealed after the race. " I was so excited and anxious about today. It's tough flying out here. I flew out on Thursday, so I didn't get acclimated to the different time zones. That kind of threw me off. It was a mental issue, but we're here to race. You don't race when you're ready, you race when it's time."
He was still happy about his result. "Compared to previous years, today was in the middle. I've had better years, and this year was different. It was very cold in the morning, so the whole strategy was just to make it through in the morning. The middle part was just catching up to the lead group, and then to maintain my pace, maintain the lead position, and just push the last laps at the end."
He later summed up his feelings on his Facebook page.
"Capping off a great year with the overall win at the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships. Not without complications but that's racing and we manage. Walking away feeling proud, grateful for the support from sponsors & friends, and excited for what's to come. Now for a bucket, or 4 buckets, of cookie dough before speeding into 2024 preparations!"
We hope to see these racers back once again for the annual Race Across the West/ Race Across America in the summer of 2024.