By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 02/24/2022; Updated 02/24/2022

We had a bit of a technical issue tonight, as Henry W noticed mid-afternoon that he couldn’t sign up for the event we had planned, a flat ten-mile race in Crit City. I confirmed that I was seeing the same problem, so shortly before race time we pivoted to Plan B, selecting an alternate race a half-hour later on the Knickerbocker route in NYC. Fortunately, everyone was able to make the switch to the NYC race, and we jumped into the pens with eight NCC racers in the B group out of around 20 riders total in the B’s, but it was a mixed-field race, so we were thrown into a total field of close to 100 riders.

The last-minute event change left little time for course recon, which mostly consisted of me taking a quick look at the route on ZwiftInsider and telling the group that “it’s mostly flat, with one big climb (the NYC KOM) in the middle.” Unfortunately, the scale of the route profile masks the fact that the “flat” sections before and after the KOM consist of a ton of rollers, with two ascents of Harlem Hill (and another up the back side of that hill), and also hit most of the other ground-level rollers from both directions.

Despite all the ups and downs, the front of the field stayed together through the opening section until we hit the KOM, with all of the NCC riders up front. The climb broke up the field; I got dropped by a group of about a half-dozen A riders on the front, and ended up going over the top with a chase group of six that included Dusty, a group that would stay together for most of the rest of the race. This group pushed hard the whole way, and at one point almost caught the A group ahead of us. I was gassed by the end and starting to plan out a miserable sprint finish, when suddenly we took a left turn with one mile to go and started to head up to the KOM again. Surprise summit finish ftw! This broke me mentally, and I immediately fell off and watched Dusty and the rest of my group ride off into the sunset. The rest of the riders soon arrived, singly or in pairs, and judging from the facial expressions on Discord, it looked like this was a pretty hard effort for everyone.

Week Eight Results:

  1. Dusty King (B) – 3 of 16 – 87.5 points
  2. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 4 of 16 – 81.3 points
  3. Patrick Ryan (B) – 6 of 16 – 68.8 points
  4. Zinj Guo (B) – 7 of 16 – 62.5 points
  5. Melissa Warwick (B) – 9 of 16 – 60.0 points
  6. Henry Wheaton (B) – 10 of 16 – 43.8 points
  7. Charlie Bailey (B) – 11 of 16 – 37.5 points
  8. Jamie Pair (B) – 14 of 16 – 18.8 points

Series Standings After Week Eight:

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (8 races) – 732.4 points
  2. Dusty King (8 races) – 634.2 points
  3. Tim Downey (7 races) – 548.8 points
  4. Melissa Warwick (8 races) – 533.0 points
  5. Zinj Guo (5 races) – 408.9 points
  6. Henry Weis (5 races) – 405.9 points
  7. Patrick Ryan (6 races) – 375.0 points
  8. Henry van den Broek (5 races) – 354.5 points
  9. Michael Bello (5 races) – 298.2 points
  10. Charlie Bailey (6 races) – 271.6 points
  11. Jay Gump (2 races) – 197.0 points
  12. Jeb Clarke (1 race) – 90.9 points
  13. Jamie Pair (2 races) – 46.8 points
  14. Henry Wheaton (1 race) – 43.8 points
  15. Lauren Cunniffe (1 race) – 9.6 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.