Mountains of Misery is a timed road event with a century option of 103 miles and 10000 ft of climbing, or the smart choice of double metric century of 128 miles and 13000 ft of climbing. In addition to the extra 25 miles, they add two beasts of climbs, one being a cat 2 2000 ft climb. The organizers make sure everyone knows its “not a race” but its timed and place of finish is given at the end of the epic day.
Myself and Mike Wojtczak participated in the double metric (this was my first road event ever), and Emily McDonald participated in the century. The ride is through beautiful country roads in SW Virginia, with a lot of rollers, fun fast mountain descents, and of course 4 monster climbs.
The weather was perfect and the spirits of the 700 riders made the day amazing. The day was a huge challenge and really tested your strength, but was so much fun, all until the final climb.
For the double metric riders at mile 122 and century riders 98, the road turned up, straight up. It was a cat 1 climb of 6 miles and 2200 ft. Times of almost an hour broke many up this beast, but after many switchbacks you finally approach the top and a huge crowd awaits the many painful faces.
Finishing the ride was quite a test and in my first road event I finished in 10th place for the double metric with a time of 8:09. Mike W blazed the route with a 6th place finish of 7:46.
Emily M defended her queen of the mountain and came across as the first woman again in the century with a time of 6:02.
Archive for month: May, 2013
The course was a flat 3 corner crit with a headwind on the start/finish stretch.
Cat 3/4 35+
At the start was Belov, Mike K. and 48 other starters. With just two VWS riders in the early race the plan was to sit in, conserve energy and ensure a top 10 finish for Belov to add to his list toward upgrade, while saving some legs for the afternoon Cat 4 race. Everything was going smoothly until halfway through the race when two riders got tangled up in front of Belov and crashed. Having nowhere else to go, Belov went down hard knocking his head and hip pretty hard. A few consultations with his Dr. revealed he is going to be okay. Disappointing day for Belov as he is riding very strong right now coming off his 4th overall at ToPC last week. The good news is he gets to buy a shiny new helmet. Mike K. rolled in safely for 17th.
At the start line was Tom, Gordon, Mike K, Josh and Joe. This was a large field (80+ registered). With such a short flat course, the team felt like the chances of a break staying away in a cat 4 field were slim to none (even if we were the instigaters). Therefor the plan was to stay near the front and have Josh, Tom and Joe on alert to cover moves just in case, but try and lead out either Mike K or Josh with 1.5 to go. The race started fairly fast from the whistle, when two riders drilled it, seemingly trying to solo to victory. Instead they dragged a field of 80 around the course for 2 or 3 laps. But kudos to them because a) they tried and b) It made the race fast, which is always better. Things were a little chaotic in the pack and getting to the front was easier said than done with the pace that was set, and with so little time between turns. With about 3 or 4 to go Tom managed to find his way to the front and pulled back one guy who had a small gap on the field, but then got swarmed by a surging field. Gordon also made an appearance at the front with 2 to go to try and instigate our lead-out but with speeds already high that late in the game and teammates on opposite sides of the field, the team just wasn’t in a position to get organized. Mike K. kept his position in the top 10 or 15 going into the last lap, and managed to take the last turn in about 6th or 7th position and sprinted for 5th place.
In a game time decision, Jay Dove lined up for his first 1/2/3 race since recently upgrading to Cat 3. His goal was simply to experience a 1/2/3 crit for the first time. Jay regularly rides with cat 1 and 2 riders on his weekly group rides so we weren’t worried about his ability to hang in there, although he seemed somewhat skeptical going in. Jay hung out in the pack for the duration and tested his legs once or twice on the front to close a couple of gaps that had opened up. With a break up the road and teams not really getting organized to chase, the pace wasn’t exactly blistering, so Jay was a little disappointed he didn’t go for it a little more, but his first 1/2/3 race is done and dusted.
- Jay: pack