Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Methow Valley Tour Hill Climb Preview

If you are passionate about bike racing and riding bikes then you will love the change of Stage Two of the Methow Valley Tour from a criterium to a mass start hill climb. The stage is over beautiful terrain that will confront riders with strategy of personal effort balanced with strategy versus opponents. You know you have visions of battles of rider on rider when you ride your local training hill. Now those visions will play out for six miles up Forest Road 5140.

Now for a little bit about the climb. The stage will roll out flat from the 8 Mile Sno Park for 1.3 miles on good pavement to Road 5140. It is a left hand turn onto the climb with a bit a chicane.

The climb starts straight off from here and travels a little more then a mile on one of its steepest pitches. Big question here - go for it or moderate your effort. As you cross the cattle grate at the top of this section the road goes flat. Big ring time? Work with the riders around you or try to hold any gap gained?

Cross the one lane bridge and the climbing gets serious again. Did you work to hard on the flats? Its going to grind from here until mile four of the climb. Then you get a short flat section before the constant finishing grade up to finish around mile six of the climb.

Non-climber, not fit Terry Buchanan did the climb is just over 38 minutes. The first mile was my slowest mile. I manage to get up with a 39 x 25. The pavement is good. Its going to be very interesting to see how this stage plays out. Points will go 50 deep. Catch the rider in front of you, hold off the rider behind you. Hope to see you out there.

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