Hilltowns

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djming
Chasseur
Posts: 792
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 6:44 am

Hilltowns

Post by djming » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:33 pm

Combined 50/60+. Me, The Diesel, Mark Daniels, Ron Hagen and Mike Keohane in a combined field of 50'sh.
Executive summary:
On E. Hawley climb set a new 20min power best (and a 6,8,10,12,15 and even a 30min for that matter when including the continued post-climb efforts).
The Diesel put in a huge effort to quickly regain contact and then almost immediately into some monster pulls after the climb to shed some key guys (and put a couple others in a world of hurt)
Fended off a full on right calf lockup with 10 miles to go.
Caught the guys off the front as we whittled down our group to 5. Let just the slightest of gaps open with ~300 to go into the wind, couldn't close, finished 4th. Over 90% IF for the race.

As to my race plan I pretty much couldn't have felt/executed it better. 3 guys away almost immediately. We wanted to get someone early off the front, but Rich just wasn't feeling good early (but made up for it in a BIG way later). Mark Daniels made a valiant effort to bridge up but was just a bit too late and ended up in no man's land. I sat in with all the key 50+ guys until maybe 200 before the left turn to start the descent when I went hard off the front, eliciting shouts of "we're turning left". Yup, all part of the plan. Held 1st/2nd wheel down the nastiest section of the descent then maintained at least top 5-7. 1/4 mile before the right turn to start the climb I follow Bill Thompson's wheel and we're 1st/2nd (except for the 3 away). I then decide I'm going to dictate the climb. I go very hard early, making it clear that if anyone wants to get around they're going to have to go REAL deep. Then settle in and follow wheels, never worse than 5th. Anytime I sense a lessening, I go to the front, then settle back in. As we near the end of the steepish section Mark Paggioli (CVC) goes solo but nobody else matches so I just wait. As we hit the "false flat but climb's not over" section I start rotating with BIll Thompson to keep things well strung out. 2-3 make it up with us. We begin to recover when Rich comes back! A look back and we have Ulandt Kim (winner at Purgatory) and Cliff Summers (always a top 5 threat) plus a couple others in real difficulty trying to chase. Paggioli still with a gap. So I send Rich to the front and he does his Diesel thing with Bill Thompson glued to his wheel. He's going so hard I'm actually working a fair amount more than I'd like just to hold 4th wheel. Success though as we catch Paggioli, cause Summers et al to take a long, hard effort to regain and never again see Kim.

Then it was just sections of talking up the group and getting organized. Overall good work with what at that time was 9, but could begin seeing 4-5 struggling to regain on the later rollers, mainly those Rich put the hurt on earlier. I actually thought of attacking the group as I felt quite good but thankfully(?) Paggioli beat me to it and now I begin to follow moves from him and Tim Ward (who was 4th at Purgatory).
Then suddenly almost complete disaster with ~10 miles to go when I go from feeling really good to my right calf completely locking. Not just a cramp, as in can't complete a pedal stroke. Thankfully everyone else is fatiguing and I'm able to sit in the back, do some stretching and drinking and hope nobody notices. Takes me a bit, but work thru it. In/out of the saddle back and forth with easy surges seems to help loosen things.

Now fast forward to the final left turn, which takes us into a 4 mile headwind. We just keep whittling down the field so now it's 5. Then at 1K Bill Thompson blows. It's just 4 of us. I really want to go, but both inner quads start badly quivering. Do some weird back and forth (actually not really sure what the hell I was doing at that point). Nobody's really sprinting, but a small gap opens nevertheless and I roll in maybe 3-4 seconds (not the 13 on the results!) back of Paggioli who takes it, with Bill Clark (Errace) 2nd and Tim Ward (River Towns) 3rd.

BUT, Jay Trojan who was in the initial 3 man break attacked the break 30sec before we caught them and he barely held off Paggioli to take the actual win as a 60+. All day off the front, DAMN!!
Dave Mingori

rraymond
Domestique
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Hilltowns

Post by rraymond » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:13 pm

Last year was my first taste of Hilltowns and it was the hardest race I’ve ever done. Thankfully this year’s edition was not quite as hard but 85 miles of racing with tons of elevation is never easy.

Curtis White and Stephen Hyde played with the field early on trading attacks while Hot Tubes kids covered every move. Nothing was getting away before East Hawley until the bottom of the descent when John Jantz got a gap and the field went into single file chase right up to the base of the climb.

I rode steady getting dropped by the initial accelerations then quickly passing people who blew up until I caught onto a group of 6. Several smaller groups were just ahead of us at the top so I thought we’d catch them right away but nobody wanted to pull and they got further away.

We then began chasing and dropped one rider finally catching up to Rees and 2 others on the rollers. 40 miles in and my legs are hurting pretty bad. Somewhere along the descent several in our group had mechanicals with 5 up the road meaning we were all going to get a top 10 if we stayed away.

Towards the top of east Hawley x2 we pick up Stephen hyde who was taking a nature break after getting dropped from the break.

We keep riding together but not working as well as before since 5th place is now up for grabs. The break now has 2 or 3 minutes on us.

On the longest downhill section I sit on my top tube and coast away from the light climbers (finally being one of the heaviest guys helps). I look back and I had a growing gap with Rees chasing me down while he tries to get away from the field. We make a turn and the road turns uphill again. I start to drill it and Rees is still chasing me but then the field thankfully sits up and let’s Rees go.

I wait up and we start taking turns with 20 miles to go. After a little bit another rider bridges up and Rees drops off. The other guy has been climbing much better than me and beat me at Purgatory so I accept that he will get 5th and I’ll get 6th.

The rest of the way is rollers into a headwind. Finally we get to 1k to go and fist bump. I’m still assuming I’ll lose. They only way I could possibly get 5th is if it comes down to a short sprint. He goes at 500m on the climb and I sit on since there’s a headwind. He sits up and we roll to 200m. He goes again and I sit until 100m then open my “sprint” taking 5th!

Super hard day again. Congrats to Tucker for getting 4th after a long day in the break!

ppereira
Domestique
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: Hilltowns

Post by ppereira » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:16 am

good job to all who did this! Looking at the power folks held for 20+mins up E Hawley just makes me feel so inadequate! I only did hilltowns once a few years ago and my then mid 90's raleigh had a 52-43 crankset, not exactly the wisest choice for such an event, but I didn't know any better back then!

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