By Michael Bello
Published 02/28/2023; Updated 02/28/2023

For the ninth week of the NCC Zwift Winter 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.

We had a large peloton of 13 for the group ride version. The entire group stayed together for the 9.4 mile warmup. Then we hit the Epic KOM, and we broke into different groups. As always, Dusty and Jonathan battled for the top spot. Despite a stellar time, Dusty finished second and Jonathan was third. Carson rode solo and put up a staggering time of 21:37 to take the win.

Melissa and Kevin were the next group. Melissa solicited the peloton’s advice on how to pass Kevin, who was not on Discord. Kevin prevailed by six seconds. He “just wanted to do my share to keep us ahead of the Henrys.” Speaking of I, II, and III, Henry III finished behind a solo Zinj for 7th, while Henry I was 8th. Zinj had a few sensor dropouts on his ride. Henry III thanked Andy for helping pace him up the climb. Henry II finished behind Andy for 10th.

I started out strong. Then, Lauren passed me. I did my best to stay on her wheel, but eventually I got dropped. Charlotte, who was supposedly just doing a tempo ride, came extremely close to passing me. I kept reminding her that she wanted to ride tempo and that as a friend she would not pass me. I crossed the line with only a few seconds lead. Let’s be honest, she could easily beat me up any mountain, but I will cherish today’s finish.

Matt and Dan may not have realized that they participated in the hill climb through their solo adventures today. That said, they met the qualifications and we all appreciate the extra points.

During our cooldown, we discussed many cycling items. The Hatfield Road Race is coming up. There was concern about the lack of prize money for the master women’s podium. Our peloton suggested contacting the race organizers through BikeReg. We also discussed the new Wahoo video on last year’s Vermont Overland Gravel Race, the Lifetime Grand Prix Series, and Melissa’s wild college days as a firefighter.

Congrats to Lauren for the Strava PR tonight.

Here are today’s results:

1. Poe, Carson; Time: 0:21:37; 16.2 mph; 17 points
2. King, Dusty; Time: 0:22:45; 15.4 mph; 16 points
3. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Time: 0:23:17; 15.1 mph; 15 points
4. Weinman, Kevin; Time: 0:23:39; 14.8 mph; 14 points
5. Warwick, Melissa; Time: 0:23:45; 14.8 mph; 13 points
6. Guo, Zinj; Time: 0:24:29; 14.3 mph; 12 points
7. Wheaton, Henry; Time: 0:24:34; 14.3 mph; 11 points
8. Weis, Henry; Time: 0:25:04; 14 mph; 10 points
9. MacDonald, Andy; Time: 0:26:42; 13.1 mph; 9 points
10. van den Broek, Henry; Time: 0:27:33; 12.7 mph; 8 points
11. Cunniffe, Lauren; Time: 0:27:51*; 12.6 mph; 7 points
12. Bello, Michael; Time: 0:29:22; 11.9 mph; 6 points
13. Lellman, Charolette; Time: 0:29:34; 11.9 mph; 5 points
14. Stratton, Chris; Time: 0:30:43; 11.4 mph; 4 points
15. Streeter, Keith; Time: 0:37:55; 9.3 mph; 3 points
16. Stratton, Matt; Time: 0:43:32; 8.1 mph; 2 points
17. Cahillane, Dan; Time: 0:50:40; 6.9 mph; 1 points

*Strava PR

Here are the series standings:

Place, Name, Events, Points
1. King, Dusty; Event(s) 9; Points: 112.5
2. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Event(s) 9; Points: 101.5
3. Guo, Zinj; Event(s) 9; Points: 89
4. Wheaton, Henry; Event(s) 9; Points: 79.5
5. Warwick, Melissa; Event(s) 9; Points: 73
6. van den Broek, Henry; Event(s) 7; Points: 53
7. MacDonald, Andy; Event(s) 8; Points: 52
8. Weinman, Kevin; Event(s) 4; Points: 43
9. Downey, Tim; Event(s) 5; Points: 38
10. Cunniffe, Lauren; Event(s) 6; Points: 34
11. Poe, Carson; Event(s) 2; Points: 32
12. Wysk, Steve; Event(s) 8; Points: 28
13. Weis, Henry; Event(s) 3; Points: 26
14. Stratton, Chris; Event(s) 8; Points: 25
15. Streeter, Keith; Event(s) 6; Points: 15
15. Bello, Michael; Event(s) 9; Points: 15
17. Krause, Ross; Event(s) 1; Points: 12.5
18. Lellman, Charolette; Event(s) 1; Points: 5
19. Lyons, Jim; Event(s) 1; Points: 4
20. Stratton, Matt; Event(s) 1; Points: 2
20. Cole, Lloyd; Event(s) 1; Points: 2
22. Cahillane, Dan; 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.