Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 Mount Hamilton Hillclimb

The last thing that I did in the US (well, except eat a yummy Thanksgiving feast) was take part in the Mount Hamilton Hill Climb. The climb is pretty formidable – 30km long with 1,310 meters of climb and two short descents. I had climbed the climb a couple of times before and even took part in this race one year earlier – in 2008 I punctured my loaned tubulars half way up so that ended that.

The Profile

Due to the puncture last year, I felt like I had a little unfinished business. While training over here, all the rides have been endurance type riding on the flats with tempo or sweet spot on the climbs. My legs should be more than capable of a good effort before I left for Ireland.

Off the front - picture from here

As I'm also competing in the third round of the Supercross Cup CX series in Ireland two days later I followed wheels for the first 25km of the climb. The lead group (of the 200+ racers) was still big (around 20 riders) at the half way point. My plan was to up my pace with around 5 km to go. (Final 5 km was at 6%). At around 5km to go, with 7 in the lead group, I went to the front and upped the pace – about a minute latter, on a steep switch back, I attacked – my companions quickly dropped off and I soloed to the top to win in a touch over 72 minutes. The time was not particularly fast as we cruised along for the first two thirds (I could have pushed the pace more earlier but with a transatlantic flight later the same day and a cross race two days later, I thought it prudent to hang back until the end).

Picture from here

Winning with a view - picture from here

With the win, my puncture demons from last year have been quashed. Full results and photos will be up here soon, As my brother pointed out on the way to the airport, it is also my first US win.


djconnel said...

Nice job! It was great riding with you on Thursday. I for one appreciated the "easy" pace: I lost only 4 minutes to you....

djconnel said...

Results are here. A nice photo of Ryan approaching the summit was taken by Josh Hadley.

Ryan Sherlock said...

I think that series is great - chilled, relaxed and so many riders out of all forms.

I wish we had something similar in Ireland. I'll keep trying.