Right off the start, it was easier to climb than normal. The pace was fast. I was surprised as my two pre-rides up the climb were hard and I choked for air at the top due to the dryness. I sensed one gal on my wheel as it was a 3-up time trial. I passed one wind devil of sand into the wind. On each westerly turn I flew with the wind up the next stretch. 2nd last corner, Crazy Larry was cheering like a Tour de France hillclimb fan running and waving. After the last corner into the wind, I was literally blown up the hardest 12% grade to the westerly finish, even having to shift into a higher gear! I was shocked how easy the climb was.
The bigger shock was breaking the record by 7 seconds and winning in 4 min 0.4! I attributed it to the wind, yet I realize all the women had the same strong wind too. 2nd place was Nik who was on my wheel the whole way until I sprinted away at the finish. The big chain ring was key this time.
I checked the weather around my start time 7:36 p.m. Here's the graph with the peak wind at 60 kph just around 8 p.m. Wow! Fellow ERTC teammate Cody Canning also broke the men's record.
Unfortunately, this wind caused some havoc in the city with power outages including a death of a child hit by debris blown from a construction site. Crazy strong wind.