By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 10/27/2022; Updated 10/27/2022

We mixed things up in tonight’s Thursday road race series by taking part in this week’s ZRacing “RACE LIKE A CHAMP” event, which was actually a double-feature of two mini races staged back-to-back.

We started off at 5:10 PM on Yorkshire’s “Queen’s Highway” route, a mini-loop around the downtown portion of the Yorkshire course. Clocking in at 3.6 miles and under nine minutes, the pace started off fast and never really let up. By the time we got to the long false-flat leading to the finish, there were already a couple guys way off the front. I felt good about my position in the pack, but I lost a lot of ground in the long uphill slog to the finish, and ended up 9th. Melissa still hasn’t shaken her flu-like symptoms, and had to ease up at the end, but still finished a very respectable 17th. In the C race, Michael finished 9th, just three seconds behind the leader.

With just a few minutes of recovery, we queued up for the 5:30 start of second half of the event, a 5.6 mile lap of Richmond’s “Cobbled Climbs Reverse” route, with two short sharp climbs, and then a longer, more gradual ascent to the finish. Richmond strangely didn’t support riding backwards until a year or two ago, so climbing up the backsides of the hills down near the river felt fresh and different. But still hard. I got dropped by the leaders on the first climb, but fought back up and over the second climb to rejoin a group of thirteen at the front. We cruised as a group along the river for a mile or so, but when we got to the base of the finishing climb I was unceremoniously ejected out the back, and spent the rest of the race just trying to hold off the chase group a few seconds behind.

The idea of this dual-race format is that people race both races for an aggregate result, but Zwift has no way to enforce this, and looking at the results, most of the top-placed finishers in each race were just doing one of the two races, which obviously lets you focus all of your energy on one race. Given this dynamic, I think the NCC crowd tonight turned in quite a respectable set of results. Nice work, folks!

Results for Week 4:

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 9 of 23, 10 of 25 : (65.2 + 64.0) / 2 = 64.6 points
  2. Michael Bello (C) – 9 of 17, 12 of 18: (52.9 + 38.9) / 2 = 45.9 points
  3. Melissa Warwick (B) – 17 of 23, 20 of 25 : (39.6 + 31.2) / 2 = 35.4 points

Season Standings as of Week 4:

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (4 races) – 223.5 points
  2. Michael Bello (3 races) – 132.8 points
  3. Tim Downey (1 race) – 100.0 points
  4. Melissa Warwick (4 races) – 95.8 points
  5. Patrick Ryan (1 race) – 88.9 points