shiori pass hill climb race report

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shiori 2014.jpg

Shiori Pass Hill Climb today. This one always sticks in my mind.

  • 2005. My first racing year. 1st in the age category. A sizzling 39:03.
  • 2006. Big aspirations. A flat after 1 km….
  • 2009. A summer of excess. When the road picked up… I got off and walked…
  • 2014???

Back on the start line. 9 years since my debut. Adam by my side. 6 years since we’ve raced together…

As a warm up I did the full climb. Nothing like a good warm up! I warn Adam of the strong winds above the hairpins. “Best to play the waiting game” I say. Is that a smile?

So here we are. 1 minute to go. This is the only hill climb where there is no fight for position. The first 3 to 4 kms are flat. Nobody wants to tow the peleton…

3,2,1 Go!

Adam is second man. I’m on his wheel. Nothing too hard. Almost like a rolling start. In the first flat section there is just one short sharp rise.

There he goes! Nothing’s changed! Out of the saddle. Who wants it? Cobain can’t stay on the leash for more than a minute!

Everybody is looking at everybody else. Or should that be, everyone is watching Tazaki san. I soft pedal. Adam looks back just once. He has the gap.

3 km till the climb picks up. It’s everyman for himself in a hill climb. More importantly, it’s every man for nobody else. Nobody wants to force the pace only to be dropped when the road picks up.

The road picks up.

Boom! Tazaki san comes from behind. What a motor! A scramble as riders try to grab his wheel. A steep collection of hairpins.

I’m not losing too much ground.

At the last steep hairpin, Miyazaki san comes past. Out of the saddle. His gears crunching horribly. Almost bringing him down. I think it’s game over for him… Shows what I know…

The road eases off.

Murayama san comes past. 55 years young. But he has the engine. A powerhouse. A diesel similar, yet bigger, than my own. I lock on to his wheel. Steadily we work our way back up. But I can’t match his power. On a steep climb like this, small changes in gradient are exaggerated even more. The field splinters.

180 HR. Gasping for air. I’m on the rivet.

A big guy on a steep climb.

The climb grabs hold of you. A stranglehold. A wrestle to the finish. I pass a few. A few pass me. I can’t go any harder.

The last 3 kilometres are the hardest. I have to dance up a few of the steep sections. It ain’t pretty. This ain’t no disco. And I’m no John Travolta…

The finish

Up front Adam is battling it out with Tazaki san and Miyazaki san. An excellent performance from him. “if you were on the rivet, I popped a friggin' rivet!” He rolls in 3rd behind two guys who are doing this crazy stuff on a weekly basis.

I cross over in 41 minutes. Nothing amazing. But satisfied. Always satisfied. 11th in the Champions Class.

More catching up with Adam as the typhoon sets in at the top. 6 years has gone by like nothing. And nothing has changed. How did we get here? Why do we do this? What do we get from this? We love it!

Next up the じょんのび marathon on Saturday. Another chance to burn up the roads of Niigata!


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このページは、andyが2014年8月10日 22:18に書いたブログ記事です。

ひとつ前のブログ記事は「marginal gains」です。






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