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Tanya wins Gold and Piers Silver at California State Championship Hill Climb in Fremont

Piers chasing up the hill.
Piers chasing up the hill.
7 min ahead of the rest. Thats how strong Tanya is climbing.
7 min ahead of the rest. Thats how strong Tanya is climbing.

State Championship event.  Didn’t even know there was a separate Hill Climb Jersey!  

The course is really great and I hope it sees a bigger turn out next year.  5.8 miles of rolling terrain that’s pretty easy followed by the main course: continuous and challenging climbing up to mile 9 followed by a brief descent and flat elevation but twisting road finale.  

It was hot even on the way down carpooling with Hans and Tanya.  Only Hanns Detleffson had pre-registered in the 35+ event but Josh Dapice, Scott Giles, me, and Morgan Raines signed up day of.  

I almost entered the P/1/2 category as they only had 4 entrants and needed 5 to get maximal prize money of $250.00.  I warmed up with Hans almost changed numbers and entries but didn’t get it done (should have!).  

The E-3, P/1/2 and 35+ fields started together.  Hans Gouwens, Robert Pasco and a 2 guys I didn’t know were in the P/1/2 with us.  Luiggi Zuniga, Phil Mai were notable in the E-3’s.  

Phil Mai took off and dangled off the front for 5 miles.  Surprisingly Scott Giles just sat in the pack waiting for the climb to start.  I don’t know if we will ever see that again…..   

At 5.8 miles the rollers turn into serious climbing territory.   

Right away Josh Dapice put in a few hard attacks but telegraphed every one by changing gears a couple times before stomping on the pedals and jumping away.  He’s pretty light and tough and obviously in great shape after winning the Nats Road Race (Hill Climb Championships), so I didn’t want to lose his wheel.  

It didn’t seem like there was a lot of sting in his attacks, but after 3 of them it was suddenly just the two of us.  

I just let him attack, then sat on his wheel and when he pulled off I just kept riding a nice steady tempo in the saddle.  I looked back and we couldn’t see any one in the 4 switchbacks behind us so I just wanted to stay on as long as I could.  

At the 5K to go sign it gets steeper and tougher.  Josh put in one more hard and sustained attack and I just cracked a tiny bit letting a 15 foot gap open up to his wheel.  Psychologically I think this gave him wings as he took off and I couldn’t follow.   He took about a minute in the next 3K of climbing and then I took back 15 seconds on the flatter run in to the finish according to the strava comparisons but he had a solid victory.  I was happy enough to just stay way away from 3rd placed Hans Detleffson.   

All three of us finished way ahead of the P/1/2 group which was won by Luciano Spanzo, followed by Robert Pasco, Elliot Hawks and our very own Hans G! If I had entered that I would have had a nice jersey and gold instead of silver medal.  Hind sight!  Tanya of course crushed her competition by 7+ minutes and got the gold and the jersey. 🙂  

Plus there was free beer at the awards ceremony.  How can you beat that?  

 Piers 

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