On a sad note, I think that this post will be the last detailing any racing for this season. You can keep reading, but I'll treat myself to a moment of silence. ... ... ... OK, on we go.
The last installment of the Sierra Nevada Hillclimb Series was up on Mt. Rose a couple weekends ago.
Quick facts: just over 13 1/2 miles, and just over 3700' of elevation gain. Ouch. Last year, it was an affair of 1:03:xx, which was a huge PR. I was gunning for under an hour, but knew that anything faster than last year's time would be a success...my training time is but a mere shadow of what I had last year, so I've had to make the best of it.
Riley came out for his first ever bike race, which was awesome...considering that it would only be his third time up Rose!
Most of the usual suspects were there, but I blew the registration start by nearly an hour and started 5th or so from last, meaning that I'd hopefully have lots of targets for motivation.
Riley gets his junk cupped
Off we go, prepared for an awful hour
Tahoe destinations beckon
This climb has 5 distinct sections that range from less uphill to flat to a bit downhill, and the proverbial hay must be made on all of them. There's so much time on the table in those sections, and the TT bike, while a few pounds heavier than light climbing road bikes (some of those guys could stand to lose a kg or two...), is a huge advantage on the faster bits. I climbed as strategically as I could, smashing myself where appropriate and keeping the needle right below smashing everywhere else.
Just past 7000' from the start below 5200'...about halfway through the suffering
Nate Brown working away, Jason Walker and his train behind
Riley coming onto the Christmas Tree flat
Just above Mt. Rose Ski Resort, under 10 minutes to go
As I passed through 8000', the rudimentary math I was capable of placed me about 1:20 past an hour at the top; NOT what I wanted to see, as I'd already thrown all caution to the wind. My pacing had been consistent, and it's not like I was gonna give up, so I just kept grinding away.
A touch further up the road, every body part screaming for mercy
Meters to go, but hopes of an hour relentlessly ticking past...
Riley has done it
Matty Larsen charges for the finish
Collapsed onto the aerobars
"Yes, that sucked"
I came across thoroughly out of oxygen at 8900' and in 1:00:50...so close, yet so far...watching the 59 tick over to 1:00 with a turn left to go was disappointing, but that's just the way it goes.
The top times on the day were a bit slower than previous years, indicating tough-ish conditions. My ride was good enough for a good placing for the single event and also for the overall series. I even got a little cash out of the deal!
So there we have it...hillclimb series in the books, triathlon season as good as done...I guess I've got the Black Rock City 5k to look forward to. ;)
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