By Michael Bello
Published 01/15/2021; Updated 01/15/2021

The Northampton Cycling Club’s Winter Zwift Road Racing Series and Hill Climb/Time Trial Series are starting the week of January 18th.

As background, the Northampton Cycling Club has been using Zwift, the online cycling and running program, for years. In December 2019, we started having group rides on Zwift for the winter months. Not surprisingly, we increased our Zwift events due to the pandemic and the need for social distancing.

Currently, the NCC hosts four events per week: A race on Mondays, a hill climb/time trial on Thursdays, and social rides on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

At the very end of 2020, the Fall Road Race series concluded. Congratulations to Michael Bello and Melissa Warwick for capturing the men’s and women’s titles. This past Thursday, the Hill Climb/Time Trial series concluded. Kevin Weiman and Melissa Warwick took the crowns in this event. Besides the reward of interacting with fellow NCC members through chatting on Discord throughout the Zwift rides, the winners of the series each received gift certificates for three months of Zwift! With the Winter series starting this week, anyone could win the prizes.

Here are details about each series. Riders of all abilities and ages participate in these events. We hope you join us on the virtual roads.

NCC Winter Zwift Road Racing Series: Each Monday, an official Zwift race is chosen. Generally, the races will start between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. To start the winter series, we will be joining the ongoing Tour de Zwift. We will be riding the short ride (category C) of the TDZ Stage 3 at 6:00 PM on January 18th. The event will be one lap of the Mountain Route course in Watopia, which is about 18.3 miles. NCC scoring will be based on your finish position in relation to your assigned category in ZwiftPower. Please see this week’s discussion board post for all the details, including scoring methodology. Part of the fun of the race series is that a rider from any category can win. In the Fall series, a C rider prevailed over many strong B riders.

NCC Winter Zwift Hill Climb/Time Trial Series: Each Thursday, we alternate between a hill climb and a time trial event. Participants may ride any time during the day or participate in the group ride version at 5:30 PM. In the group ride version, we typically warm up together (and chat on Discord) before individually completing the time trial. Most of the events are 30 minutes or less. Riders are not only competing against each other, but also themselves. For both the hill climbs and the time trials, riders need to use a time trial bike (everyone has a TT bike in Zwift). Please refer to the NCC Zwift Guide for details about the hill climb/time trial series, including the scoring methodology. For January 21st, we will be riding Box Hill in London. This 1.87 mile hill has an average gradient of 4%. This series is an invite only event, so please follow “Michael Bello – NCC” on Zwift for an invite.

To learn more about NCC Zwift events, visit the NCC Zwift page.