By Michael Bello
Published 11/29/2022; Updated 11/29/2022

For the ninth week of the NCC Zwift Fall Hill Climb/Time Trial Series, we rode in Watopia.

This week, our challenge was the Epic KOM.  This 5.8 mile mountain took us up 1,361 feet.

Our mighty peloton is in rough shape. Melissa was battling her child’s cold, while Tim and I are coming back from a few weeks off the bike with illness. The three of us texted earlier in the day about not pushing too hard today. I decided to be on Discord but ride an easier route. Melissa and Tim decided to go “easy” on the official climb. Their rides were slower than normal, but still fast.

There was a lot of chatting on Discord. This helped push some riders, while it also annoyed others. I believe I know which category JOK fell into.

Zinj, Dusty, Henry W., and Jonathan were together for most of the ride. Melissa’s engaging conversation distracted Dusty, which caused him to fall back. Zinj goaded Dusty to claw back, which he did just in time for the rollers before the top. Dusty went straight through and gained 8 seconds on the bunch. Yet Zinj, ever the tactician, blew by Dusty.

This left Henry and Dusty to sprint for second. Henry got to the line first, but Dusty had been a bit behind and the start so he had the better time up the KOM.

Henry vdB felt a tweak in his calf and stopped riding to protect himself for cyclocross nationals. I was on Discord for moral support. Using the powers entrusted to me by the NCC, I decided that Henry and I will split three points this evening for our efforts.

As only Zinj can do, he celebrated his victory tonight by showing us his 3D printed saddles. He even showed us his miniature prototype. We jokingly asked if it would fit his cat and he proceeded to have his cat try it. For those curious, it did fit.

Congratulations to Steve for his PR tonight.

Here are today’s results:

1. Guo, Zinj; Time: 0:24:35; 14.3 mph; 12 points
2. King, Dusty; Time: 0:24:54; 14.1 mph; 11 points
3. Wheaton, Henry; Time: 0:24:56; 14.1 mph; 10 points
4. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Time: 0:25:11; 13.9 mph; 9 points
5. Page, Zachary; Time: 0:25:25; 13.8 mph; 8 points
6. MacDonald, Andy; Time: 0:27:11; 12.9 mph; 7 points
7. Warwick, Melissa; Time: 0:28:11; 12.4 mph; 6 points
8. Downey, Tim; Time: 0:29:00; 12.1 mph; 5 points
9. Bailey, Charlie; Time: 0:29:53; 11.7 mph; 4 points
10. Wysk, Steve; Time: 0:31:05*; 11.3 mph; 3 points
11. van den Broek, Henry; Time: DNF; 1.5 points
11. Bello, Michael; Time: DNF; 1.5 points

*Strava PR

Here are the series standings:

1. Guo, Zinj; Event(s) 9; Points: 70
2. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Event(s) 9; Points: 64
3. Warwick, Melissa; Event(s) 9; Points: 49
4. Wheaton, Henry; Event(s) 8; Points: 44
5. King, Dusty; Event(s) 4; Points: 35
6. MacDonald, Andy; Event(s) 8; Points: 30
7. Ryan, Patrick; Event(s) 4; Points: 29
8. Cote, Tim; Event(s) 6; Points: 26
9. van den Broek, Henry; Event(s) 5; Points: 25.5
10. Weinman, Kevin; Event(s) 3; Points: 22
11. Downey, Tim; Event(s) 3; Points: 18
12. Weis, Henry; Event(s) 2; Points: 13
13. Bello, Michael; Event(s) 6; Points: 11.5
14. Poe, Carson; Event(s) 1; Points: 10
15. Page, Zachary; Event(s) 1; Points: 8
16. Wysk, Steve; Event(s) 4; Points: 6
17. Bailey, Charlie; Event(s) 1; Points: 4
18. Wilson, Donna; Event(s) 1; Points: 3
19. Tur, Peter; Event(s) 1; Points: 2
20. Peters, Kenneth; Event(s) 1; Points: 1

Next week, we will do a four lap time trial of the Volcano Circuit in Watopia.

Participants in the Hill Climb/TT series may ride any time during the day or participate in the group ride version at 6:00 PM. Please visit the NCC Zwift page for the series rules.

Here is the NCC Zwift schedule:

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

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.