By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 03/10/2022; Updated 03/10/2022

It was a fun race tonight, the first stage of the annual Tour of Watopia on the “Three Little Sisters” route, which was new to most of us, climbing the Hilly KOM, the Titan’s Grove KOM, and the Volcano KOM, before descending and finishing downtown. The ToW races feature “double draft” and special powerups that last twice as long as usual, which we all appreciated, although since everyone has them, they don’t really make things any easier, they just make you go faster, to paraphrase Greg LeMond.

We had eight NCC riders in the field, along with some superstars up at the front, including Kevin Bouchard-Hall. Those guys quickly shattered the field up the first climb on the Hilly KOM, with Jay, Dusty, and Henry doing a great job to hang on to the lead group. Zinj and I settled into the chase group, and Melissa, Tim, and Michael were just behind.

The Titan’s Grove climb caused further damage at the front, and Dusty and Henry drifted back to join Zinj and I in a big chase group of about two dozen that hung together most of the rest of the way, absorbing a few stragglers that got dumped off the back of the lead group. Opinions differed about the final climb up the Volcano; Henry thought it was pretty easy, but for me it was full gas all the way, trying to hang on to the main group up the final 10% kicker.

The double-length powerups made for an interesting finish; I had a truck, which I was able to deploy super-early, in the cave, and ride it all the way to the finish for second place in our group, with Zinj, Dusty, and Henry just behind. Melissa was about a minute and a half behind, in 51st place, and the top overall women’s finisher, giving her enough points to finish first for the night — great work!

Our winter Thursday race series will conclude next week, with a final Tour of Watopia stage climbing the Alpe for double points. After that we take a week off, followed by our outdoor Tuesday night race series kicking off on March 29. Hope to see all of you out there on the road!

Week Ten Results:

  1. Melissa Warwick (B) – 51 of 308 – 105.5 points
  2. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 23 of 308 – 97.5 points
  3. Zinj Guo (B) – 25 of 308 – 96.8 points
  4. Dusty King (B) – 26 of 308 – 96.5 points
  5. Henry Weis (B) – 28 of 308 – 95.8 points
  6. Jay Gump (A) – 17 of 308 – 94.8 points
  7. Tim Downey (B) – 39 of 308 – 92.0 points
  8. Michael Bello (C) – 141 of 308 – 70.9 points

Overall Standings After Week Ten:

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (10 races) – 925.8 points
  2. Dusty King (10 races) – 789.0 points
  3. Melissa Warwick (10 races) – 673.5 points
  4. Tim Downey (8 races) – 640.8 points
  5. Zinj Guo (7 races) – 589.0 points
  6. Henry Weis (6 races) – 501.7 points
  7. Patrick Ryan (7 races) – 416.7 points
  8. Michael Bello (6 races) – 369.1 points
  9. Henry van den Broek (5 races) – 354.5 points
  10. Charlie Bailey (7 races) – 304.9 points
  11. Jay Gump (3 races) – 291.8 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. Kathryn Kothe (1 race) – 13.3 points
  16. 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.