This was my comeback to the hills race after being out of town or getting rained out on a few previous hill TNRs. It was a very hot evening, starting into the 90s, though lots of people still came out. I think around 25 racers were in the B’s. I stayed close to the front after the first few miles when people were already looking like they might not last the whole night. On the first stretch of hills, Sam and Greg were off the front, and I tried hard to stay with them but was losing ground. Approaching the top of Hurd, I stood up and sprinted to catch them before they started to descend, knowing that this would be my last chance to catch the benefit of a draft. The 3 of us kept up a very strong pace, mostly led by Greg, pulling far more than his share.
Eventually in the distance 3 others were approaching, and caught up (on Ellis Hollow, I believe). I was nearly done after climbing Ringwood, and tried to just catch whatever draft I could after that point, but it’s mostly uphill from there. Sam and Greg were still off the front, as the rest of the lead group slowly spread out over the two big climbs remaining. I put in the last of my effort, and came up 6th, out of the lead group of 7. I got off the bike, and just laid down for a minute, and my head felt extremely hot. Then the warm sweat dripped into my eyes and was burning for a minute before I could rinse it off with the last of my water. It was a tough night!
Eventually 2 others made it up, but the rest of the group supposedly turned off long ago and were not going to join us at the finish. Not only did the break survive, it was the only finishers tonight! It was a calm ride back to EHP, since everyone seemed tired of climbing for the day.