Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Racing the longest time trial of his career, Greg Daniel finished ninth Friday at the USA Cycling Volkswagen Professional Time Trial National Championships.
The Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team's lone entry in the event, Daniel clocked a time of 1:05:4 in the 51-kilometer race. Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) won his third national title by clocking a 1:02:4. Tom Zirbel (Rally Cycling) was runner-up, 70 seconds back, and Alexey Vermeulen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) was third, a further two seconds back.
"I gave it my all, so that was as good as I could finish," Daniel said. "At 51 kilometers, it was a little longer than what the race bible said."
Daniel said he tried to employ a specific pacing strategy based on how he felt on the two laps of an out-and-back course that was listed in the race bible as a 48-km race against the clock.
"I made sure on the first lap that I never went too far in the red and just stayed relaxed and controlled my breathing," he said. "I tried to go a little bit harder on the uphills and focused on being as aerodynamic as possible on the downhills. I also made sure I was taking gels and drinking on the first lap so on the second lap I could just push through and not bonk or worry about taking in a last-minute gel."
On Saturday, Daniel and Axeon Hagens Berman teammate Logan Owen will compete in the 187-km road race in Winston-Salem. Riders will complete 12 laps of a 15.5-km circuit.
Daniel said while he felt a bit fatigued earlier in the week, just a few days after the Amgen Tour of California, he is already feeling better about the road race.
"I was kind of reminded that you need a good, hard day to open up," he said. "Tomorrow, I might be even better than I was today because I have had a hard day in my legs. So I think it will help in the road race."
The road race will be live-streamed. Cyclingfans.com, Cyclingnews.com and Cyclingtips.com will each provide broadcast sources.
(Photo by Daniel at the Amgen Tour of California by Davey Wilson.)