By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 12/08/2022; Updated 12/15/2022

Every week I need to pick a Zwift race for our NCC Thursday race series, and unfortunately there are not a ton of races to choose from in the 5:30 – 6:30 time slot that we use. Usually the races that are available involve a fair amount of climbing, which is not the sweet spot for this plus-sized middle-aged guy. So I was super-happy to see this race on the calendar, two laps of the pancake-flat Tempus Fugit route in the Watopian desert. I’ll just sit in for 40 minutes, unleash my sprint at the end, and Bob’s your uncle, easy win.

A simple plan, but one that did not survive contact with the enemy.

The main problem here was that this was a mixed-cat race, with all categories racing together and visible to each other. In most mixed-cat races with some climbing, the A group easily rides away from the B riders (most of us) on the climbs, and leaves most of the B riders to duke it out amongst themselves. But in a flat race, the A riders push it all the way through, trying to drop the hangers-on, and that’s how it rolled tonight.

The pace was high from the gun, and then accelerated further with a bunch of surges in the first lap. Charlie and Melissa dropped into the first chase group, while I held on to the front group by my fingernails, along with with Dusty and Zinj. The attacks subsided a bit in the second lap, but there were still a bunch of attacks. There was hardly any “sitting in”. The surge to the finish started early and was very fast. Zinj edged me at the line for the win, and Dusty was just behind. Melissa was riding strong in her chase group and picked up a bunch of places in her sprint.

Week 10 Results

  1. Zinj Guo (B) – 7 of 47 – 87.2 points
  2. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 8 of 47 – 85.1 points
  3. Dusty King (B) – 12 of 47 – 76.6 points
  4. Charlie Bailey (B) – 25 of 44 – 45.5 points
  5. Melissa Warwick (B) – 37 of 47 – 30.4 points

Series Standings after Week 10

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (8 races) – 597.3 points
  2. Melissa Warwick (7 races) – 373.4 points
  3. Michael Bello (5 races) – 254.8 points
  4. Zinj Guo (2 races) – 189.1 points
  5. Tim Downey (2 races) – 170.6 points
  6. Dusty King (2 races) – 150.6 points
  7. Isaac Hoeh (1 race) – 97.3 points
  8. Patrick Ryan (1 race) – 88.9 points
  9. Charlie Bailey (1 race) – 76.0 points
  10. Henry Wheaton (1 race) – 34.1 points