Preparing for Loma Linda

Preparing for Loma Linda

The Loma Linda PossAbilities time trial is the last race before Paris, affecting the final athlete selection for the 2024 Paralympic Games. With many athletes in contention for spots at the Paralympic games, this event boasts crucial points for qualification. Like many other athletes in contention, I have been preparing for this event. Last month, I changed coaches, which has helped me gain fitness in areas I have not worked as much on. Since the event is a time trial, I have also been spending time getting my position just right and getting used to my TT bike’s feel. I also attended a week-long track training camp in LA, a week out from the event, which has helped with the higher-intensity work and provided a novel stimulus. My coach and I have been focusing on longer efforts to improve my sustained power for time trials since this is something that I only worked on a little with my old coach. 

I came in third place in the Texas Para-cycling TT, 1% back from Dennis. I can improve on this route since the course should favor me more in Loma Linda. The weather in Loma Linda is significantly different than in Texas, with less wind but more heat. The hot temperatures will affect everyone, and whoever handles the heat the best will have a significant advantage. With this being said, I think the heat will be an advantage for me since I will go faster than the hand cyclists, providing more airflow. Because of the heat, I have switched to using a white helmet, plan on consuming cold beverages, and wear an ice vest before the event to reduce my core temperature and take longer to feel the full effects of the heat. 

With the ranking list being very competitive, I currently sit in sixth place, but this could easily change depending on what place everyone gets in Loma Linda. I am so honored to be in this position to race my bike for such a great organization and against such inspirational competitors. While I would love to win, I feel happy for my competitor’s success since I know how it feels to perform well, and it makes all the hard work pay off.  I am currently looking forward to the event since it is the home event for team PossAbilities, and the course looks excellent. Unlike other courses, the Loma Linda TT has more variety, including hills, turns, and strataway. This course will be a good test of riders’ performance in many ways, from power to technical ability in the turns and u-turns.