By Michael Bello
Published 12/12/2023; Updated 12/13/2023

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.

We tried a new route, Accelerate to Elevate, to get to the climb. Many were scared by the almost 18 mile lead in to the Alpe!

The excuses were flowing right from the start. Everything from pickle ball to volley ball were explained. One rider even had a mechanical in which several of their cassette cogs did not work.

Carson and Kevin joined the fun tonight. Their fresh hill climb legs had them take the top two spots. Zinj rounded out the podium.

Jonathan finished fourth, followed by Henry vdB and Melissa. Our top six finishers rode the Alpe in less than one hour!

Despite his mechanical, Henry III only took 66 minutes to ascend the mountain.

For some unknown reason, Steve completed the entire Accelerate to Elevate route, earning the lightweight Meilenstein wheels as a prize for the climb, but his time did not translate to Strava. He may move to 7th on the day when we figure out his time.

Tim rode slow and steady to earn ninth. Granted, he just needed to finish to break the series tie with me.

I rode my workout on the Accelerate to Elevate route, but only finished one hairpin turn by the time my cooldown ended. Since I’m the one calculating the series points, I awarded myself a single point for the DNF. Everyone else earned double points tonight since it was the last ride of the series.

Congratulations to Jonathan for winning his fourth overall Zwift Hill Climb/TT title! Melissa captured her ninth title and I’m debating naming the title after her.

We will start the winter series in early January.

Here are today’s results:

1. Poe, Carson; Time: 0:49:12; 9.3 mph; 20 points
2. Weinman, Kevin; Time: 0:55:14; 8.2 mph; 18 points
3. Guo, Zinj; Time: 0:56:35; 8.1 mph; 16 points
4. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Time: 0:57:46; 7.9 mph; 14 points
5. van den Broek, Henry; Time: 0:57:54; 7.9 mph; 12 points
6. Warwick, Melissa; Time: 0:59:03; 7.7 mph; 10 points
7. Wheaton, Henry; Time: 1:06:18; 6.9 mph; 8 points
9. Wysk, Steve; Time: 1:14:11; 6 mph; 6 points
9. Downey, Tim; Time: 1:19:31; 5.7 mph; 4 points
10. Bello, Michael; Time: DNF; 1 points

*Strava PR

Here are the series standings:

1. O’Keeffe, Jonathan; Event(s) 11; Points: 72
2. Guo, Zinj; Event(s) 10; Points: 66
3. MacDonald, Andy; Event(s) 7; Points: 40
4. van den Broek, Henry; Event(s) 5; Points: 29
5. Warwick, Melissa; Event(s) 5; Points: 28
6. Wheaton, Henry; Event(s) 9; Points: 25
7. Poe, Carson; Event(s) 1; Points: 20
8. Wysk, Steve; Event(s) 6; Points: 18
8. Weinman, Kevin; Event(s) 1; Points: 18
10. Laviolette, Joe; Event(s) 4; Points: 16
11. Downey, Tim; Event(s) 4; Points: 14
12. Bello, Michael; Event(s) 11; Points: 11
13. Yarosh, Scott; Event(s) 1; Points: 8
14. King, Dusty; Event(s) 1; Points: 4

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 check Link My Ride on your mobile device for information on each ride.

To learn more about the NCC and Zwift rides, please visit our Zwift page.