By Michael Bello
Published 03/15/2023; Updated 03/15/2023

You would think that with an indoor event, weather related issues would not occur. By late Tuesday afternoon, several of our series regulars texted to say they were without power due to the snowstorm. So, we allowed participants an extra day to complete the competition.

As has been our tradition as the finale for each series, we ascended the Alpe du Zwift. The climb is only 7.59 miles; however, it ascends 3,398 feet at an average gradient of 8.5 percent. Alpe du Zwift is a recreation of Alpe d’Huez in France. The recreation includes the mountain’s 21 hairpin turns.

For the Tuesday group ride, I signed onto Discord at the usual time. Zinj was finishing his ride. He wanted to get the ride in just in case he lost power. His sub-53 minute time put a lofty goal in everyone’s head. Jonathan came the closest, but finished second to Zinj on the day.

Charlotte rode the Alpe du Zwift for the first time. Of course, the CX Nationals Podium finisher broke the 60 minute mark to finish third. Lauren’s goal was to complete the climb in a time that was less than her age. Granted, 29 minutes was not possible, but she was happy with her time today. Andy was a few minutes back to finish fifth on the day.

Steve and I battled up the climb. We started at the same time and I had a minute lead at one point. He started chipping away at the time. By the final turn, my lead was around 20 seconds. I swear I bested him comfortably in Zwift, but Strava says that he got me by a second. Unfortunately, I cannot find a Zwift screen shot with Steve’s time, so Strava and Steve got me at the line. As a consolation prize, at least I got the wheels again on the Alpe du Zwift prize wheel, so I got a lot of extra points.

Henry the First got a flat tire. He was committed to fixing it so he could continue. Somehow, his wheel skewer got bent beyond repair, so he was forced to retire. If you ruin a bike part in NCC Zwift competition, you get points even for a DNF.

Dusty, who has been in the top spot throughout this series, needed to post a solid time to win the series. A day late, and after skiing in the morning, Dusty set a PR with a 48:45! I’m beginning to doubt he is human. Dusty won this week’s climb and the series.

Henry III was intent on riding the Alpe. After all, it is his favorite Zwift route. With no power yesterday, he contemplated packing up his trainer and bike to find an alternate location. Rational thinking prevailed, and he rode a day late. Melissa was in the same boat. The two were on the course at the same time on Wednesday. Melissa bested Henry by 40 seconds.

With double points on the line for the series finale, every place was extremely important. Dusty, Charlotte, and Steve got PRs, which earned them a extra point.

Congrats to all on a great winter series.

Here are today’s results:

1. King, Dusty; Time: 0:48:45*; 9.3 mph; PR; 27 points
2. Guo, Zinj; Time: 0:52:46; 8.6 mph; 24 points
3. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Time: 0:54:37; 8.3 mph; 22 points
4. Warwick, Melissa; Time: 0:55:32; 8.2 mph; 20 points
5. Wheaton, Henry; Time: 0:56:12; 8.1 mph; 18 points
6. Lellman, Charolette; Time: 0:59:37*; 7.6 mph; PR; 17 points
7. Cunniffe, Lauren; Time: 1:00:23; 7.5 mph; 14 points
8. MacDonald, Andy; Time: 1:05:59; 6.9 mph; 12 points
9. Wysk, Steve; Time: 1:11:40*; 6.4 mph; PR; 11 points
10. Bello, Michael; Time: 1:11:41; 6.4 mph; 8 points
11. van den Broek, Henry; Time: 1:16:44; 5.9 mph; 6 points
12. Streeter, Keith; Time: 1:36:23; 4.7 mph; 4 points
13. Weis, Henry; Time: DNF; 0 mph; 2 points

*Strava PR

Here are the series standings:

1. King, Dusty; Event(s) 11; Points: 151.5
2. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Event(s) 11; Points: 134.5
3. Guo, Zinj; Event(s) 11; Points: 122
4. Wheaton, Henry; Event(s) 11; Points: 105.5
5. Warwick, Melissa; Event(s) 11; Points: 99
6. MacDonald, Andy; Event(s) 10; Points: 74
7. van den Broek, Henry; Event(s) 8; Points: 59
8. Cunniffe, Lauren; Event(s) 8; Points: 52
9. Weinman, Kevin; Event(s) 4; Points: 43
10. Wysk, Steve; Event(s) 10; Points: 41
11. Downey, Tim; Event(s) 5; Points: 38
12. Weis, Henry; Event(s) 5; Points: 35
13. Poe, Carson; Event(s) 2; Points: 32
14. Stratton, Chris; Event(s) 9; Points: 28
14. Bello, Michael; Event(s) 11; Points: 28
16. Lellman, Charlotte; Event(s) 2; Points: 22
17. Streeter, Keith; Event(s) 8; Points: 20
18. Krause, Ross; Event(s) 1; Points: 12.5
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

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.

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.