2006: I decided to do this race. It was my team's first year as a team and we were just getting back into racing. I had never done this race before and never even seen the mountain before. I showed up with a 39/25 as my smallest gear. I weighed 195lbs. It was a painful ride and I completed it in 49:48.
2007: I was going to conquer this hill. I was lighter at 189 lbs. I was using compact cranks so had a gear of 34/25. Plus I was borrowing a set of super light hill climbing wheels. I was going to fly up this mountain. It didn't happen. I had a time of 51:49. I think I took it too easy on the lesser slopes and just spun too much with my easier gears.
2008 and 2009: I skipped this race.
2010: Here we are at this last weekend. I am lighter at 185lbs, stronger and more fit than I have ever been. I also more confident in my abilities. I chose to go with my first year gearing of a 39/25 and would power of the mountain. It was a hot day. My warm up was pretty good:
We drove up the night before and stayed close by. I got to the race early and was able to take my time. Because of the heat I was careful not to over do my warm up. I got about 40 minutes on the trainer with a couple of short intervals and then easy spinning. I was also set up in a nice shaded area. Then I finished up the warm up on the road to ensure everything on my bike worked well.
Then I started.
So I quit. First DNF of the year. First ever in a time trial. At one of the points my wife was stopped for pictures, I got in the car. Very shameful and embarrassing. Everyone has a bad day, mine came on this day.
I'm not claiming to have been able to contend for any positions. I can throw excuses out like I'm a big guy, I live in a flat area, I'm a wuss. What ever it is the truth is I don't prepare for hilly races because we race in flat crits mainly. The mountain beat me. I am not giving up. What doesn't kill only makes us stronger. I will revisit that mountain again and it will not repeat.
My other VBW teammates who showed up did well. Kevin Horvath climbed in 44:59 and John Gray, first time Wintergreen racer climbed in 50:46. Great job guys, sorry to disappoint you in my performance.
Here are some pictures taken by my wife of our suffering: