Sunday, June 26, 2016

Small Village Ashcroft Hillclimb

My cycling buddy Annie Bergen loaded up her two sons, and we carpooled to Ashcroft, a 2.5 hour drive away. Ashcroft was a major supply centre in the historical Gold Rush days. photo
On-route it was impressive to drive by the Highland Valley Copper Mine that went on and on. Seeing the sand and the water, one of Annie's sons asked if we could stop at the beach later!

On the drive to Ashcroft, we had to pass the race course in reverse. The hill climb race started from the edge of town and immediately went up 17.3 km to the top of the highway. The grading varied though seemed to be mostly 7-8%.
all photos - Ashcroft Facebook page
Around 40 people showed up. The mass start went out quickly. I latched onto the front guys and attempted to hold on for a couple km. When Conor Martin made an attack, the peloton splintered.

I managed to hold onto the even pace of Greg Timewell, a racer from my past duathlon days in the '80s. Up ahead, I could see that Emma Lujan, young racer from Penticton, clung onto the front group.
Nice to have a group - Emma, John, Greg
I did not last on Greg’s wheel for long. Greg then caught Paul Berry, then Emma who was shelled off the front group. She was waiting to work with riders. The three of them worked together as I rode solo into the slight headwind. 

Paul Berry dropped off, and I caught up to him. Up ahead, a rider from the lead peloton who hovered on the side of the road decided to jump back on course. It was Devon Moonie who set the course record last year. He had stomach cramps and was now out of contention to keep his win, so was dejected.
Paul Berry encouraged Devon to at least ride to finish the race. This pepped Devon up as he picked up his pace. I hung on briefly to Devon's wheel and laughed to myself as it was a tough pace for me to hold and it was his just ride to finish pace. I soon dropped off.
Devon caught Greg and Emma, though continued on. Closer to the finish Emma took off on Greg and another rider they caught. I finished back of Greg pleased with my efforts to keep a continuous hard pace. Devon still finished 3rd with his just finish the race efforts.

A nice well organized low-key event…