By Michael Bello
Published 12/14/2021; Updated 12/14/2021

Today concluded the NCC Zwift Fall Hill Climb/Time Trial series.

As has been our tradition as the finale for each series, we ascended the Alpe du Zwift. The climb is only 7.59 miles; however, it ascends 3,398 feet at an average gradient of 8.5 percent. Alpe du Zwift is a recreation of Alpe d’Huez in France. The recreation includes the mountain’s 21 hairpin turns.

To give a brief summary of the series rules, points are awarded based on the number of competitors and individuals’ overall placing. For example, if there are 19 riders, the person with the best time is awarded 19 points, second gets 18 points all the way down to the last rider, who gets 1 point. At the end of the Zwift series, the rider with the most points will be awarded the NCC Zwift Series title. For time trials, participants must use a time trial bike, which prevents drafting. For hill climbs, participants may choose any type of bike.

Participants may ride any time during the day or participate in the group ride version at 6:00 PM. In the group ride version, we typically warm up together before individually completing the time trial.

With today’s challenge being much longer than our typical hill climb or time trial, double points were on the line. In addition, an extra point was awarded for a Strava PR. Part of the fun of today’s hill climb was that no one’s position in the final standings was guaranteed.

The Alpe always brings technological issues. Patrick’s iPad ran out of power. Despite starting over, he put up a sub-50 minute time! Tim got to the top and his Apple TV froze. Fortunately, he was able to save his ride so his time was recorded.

Congrats to Carson who put up the best time of the day. Melissa improved her NCC QOM.

Brant joined us for the first time on the hardest climb in the series.

Congrats to Patrick, Zinj, Henry, Melissa, Tim, and Andy on their PRs.

Even with the double points and the extra PR points, the top five positions remained unchanged. Jonathan, who rode the PRL Full route on Saturday (107.5 mile with 7,513 feet of climbing) did what he had to do today to win the Fall Series by 3 points over Zinj. This is Jonathan’s second Zwift Hill Climb/Time Trial Series win. Melissa earned her fifth consecutive women’s Zwift Hill Climb/TT Series victory.

Henry made the biggest position move of the day. He moved from 8th place to 6th place. I bonked early in the climb and was happy to finish tonight.

Here are today’s results:

1. Poe, Carson; Time: 0:47:24; 9.6 mph; 20 points
2. Ryan, Patrick; Time: 0:49:17*; 9.2 mph; 19 points
3. Guo, Zinj; Time: 0:51:50*; 8.8 mph; 17 points
4. van den Broek, Henry; Time: 0:53:39*; 8.5 mph; 15 points
5. Warwick, Melissa; Time: 0:53:45*; 8.5 mph; 13 points
6. Downey, Tim; Time: 0:54:26*; PR; 8.4 mph; 11 points
7. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Time: 0:56:36;  8.1 mph; 8 points
8. MacDonald, Andy; Time: 1:06:22*; 6.9 mph; 7 points
9. Cheikes, Brant; Time: 1:06:43; 6.8 mph; 4 points
10. Bello, Michael; Time: 1:13:51; 6.2 mph; 2 points

*Strava PR

Here are the series standings:

1. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Event(s) 11; Points: 83
2. Guo, ZInj; Event(s) 10; Points: 80
3. Ryan, Patrick; Event(s) 10; Points: 69
4. Warwick, Melissa; Event(s) 11; Points: 62
5. Downey, Tim; Event(s) 11; Points: 57
6. van den Broek, Henry; Event(s) 4; Points: 31
7. Bello, Michael; Event(s) 11; Points: 25
8. Poe, Carson; Event(s) 1; Points: 20
9. MacDonald, Andy; Event(s) 7; Points: 19.5
10. Bailey, Charlie; Event(s) 5; Points: 17
11. King, Dusty; Event(s) 1; Points: 8
12. Daube-Valois, Ari; Event(s) 2; Points: 5
13. Gaydamovich Grzelazka, Iggy; Event(s) 4; Points: 4
13. Cheikes, Brant; Event(s) 1; Points: 4
15. Coleman, Jeremy; Event(s) 1; Points: 2
16. Weis, Henry; Event(s) 1; Points: 1
16. Bilodeau, Megan; Event(s) 1; Points: 1

The Winter Hill Climb/Time Trial Series will begin January 4th.

Here is the NCC Zwift schedule:

  • Tuesday 6:00 PM – Time Trial / Hill Climb (invite required)
  • Wednesday 8:00 PM – Social Ride (invite required)
  • Thursday Evenings – Road Race (times will vary between 5 PM and 7 PM EST)
  • Sat 9:00 AM – Social Ride (invite required)

Follow “Michael Bello – NCC” on Zwift for invites to the invite-only rides.

Check the NCC calendar for full details on all events. To learn more about the NCC and Zwift rides, please visit our Zwift page.