Race Report: Madera Stage Race, Ben Hur Hill Climb TT

35:24 - 30th in GC, 3 minutes behind race leader

This is my first time racing the Madera stage race. As a Pro/1/2 rider, I get to do an extra stage: the Ben Hur hill climb time trial. The course is just brutal. Six miles of steep, unrelenting rolling hills and the worst pavement I've ever seen (even by New York standards) leads to 3 miles up a 6-7% grade with no improvement in pavement quality. To top it of, conditions were windy, and the sun gave way to clouds right before the start.

The course is a tradeoff. A powerful climber is probably the best rider, and a super light road bike with clip on aerobars is probably the best setup. I rode my Cervelo P3C TT bike with Zipp 303 wheels, and it was fairly light at 17 lbs, but not the ideal position for climbing.

A course like this just makes it so hard to find and settle into a rhythm. There is always something going on: potholes, patches in the road, a power climb, a slight leveling off. Perhaps I can do better next year. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's pan flat time trial!