By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 01/13/2022; Updated 01/13/2022

January brings the Tour de Zwift each year, so we used Stage 1 as our Thursday night race this week. These are big mass-participation events, with hundreds of participants, usually split pretty evenly between those riding casually and those racing. Tonight we had about 270 riders and seven NCC racers on the R.G.V. route in France, two laps of this relatively flat route, with one short climb in the middle of each lap.

We got through the first half of the first lap with all seven NCC riders in the front group of around 50, which was really fun to see. The group started to break up when we hit the climb the first time. Charlie, Michael, and Melissa fell off and settled into chase groups, while Tim fell off and then put in a Herculean effort on the descent to bridge back up to the lead group with Dusty and Zinj and me.

Tim’s effort paid off, as he was able to hang with the leaders for another full lap, until we hit the climb again. The pace was a bit quicker the second time up, and he fell off again, but by that time he had locked in a gap of about two and a half minutes over the chase groups, and was able to cruise in to finish 28th, ahead of quite a few Cat A riders, and by far the highest-placed Cat C rider in the race, earning enough points to take home the overall win in our NCC race tonight.

Up front, Dusty and Zinj and I were all fading a bit toward the end, and couldn’t answer the big watts the top riders were throwing down in the sprint, but we all scored top-25 finishing places. Melissa and Charlie were just behind Tim’s group, and Michael finished up a couple minutes later in what he said was the fastest 30 miles of his life.

Tim is awarded the red number for most aggressive ride of the day. Melissa takes home the Team Spirit award for a very enthusiastic endorsement of how much fun she was having early in the race. Charlie wins the trophy for Reddest Face in the Finishing Sprint (narrowly beating out Melissa). Dusty is voted “Rider We Most Want to See on Discord to Prove He Actually Exists” (narrowly beating out Patrick).

Week Two Results:

  1. Tim Downey (C) – 28 of 143 – 105.5 points
  2. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 11 of 143 – 97.7 points
  3. Melissa Warwick (B) – 36 of 143 – 95.2 points
  4. Dusty King (B) – 16 of 143 – 94.0 points
  5. Zinj Guo (B) – 23 of 143 – 88.8 points
  6. Charlie Bailey (B) – 41 of 143 – 75.6 points
  7. Michael Bello (C) – 66 of 143 – 70.9 points

Overall standings after Week Two:

  1. Tim Downey (2 races) – 180.5 points
  2. Jonathan O’Keeffe (2 races) – 175.9 points
  3. Dusty King (2 races) – 163.6 points
  4. Melissa Warwick (2 races) – 133.2 points
  5. Michael Bello (2 races) – 130.9 points
  6. Charlie Bailey (2 races) – 97.4 points
  7. Zinj Guo (1 race) – 88.8 points
  8. Henry van den Broek (1 race) – 43.5 points
  9. Patrick Ryan (1 race) – 8.7 points

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)

Join the NCC Club on Zwift or select the link in the discussion board/calendar for 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.