Yep, that's right folks, I decided to take the plunge and claim my leaders jersey. I've never done the Newton's Revenge race up Mt Washington in July before. Sure, it is the same climb, the weather probably isn't much different, but the race atmosphere might be different. The August race is still considered to be the "real" Mt Washington race. It draws the big names from around the planet. To be sure, there will be several fast riders going for the $1500 check in July. Anthony Colby (Colavita) just set a new record on Okemo. He won Newton's last year and probably will again this year. That sets me back a little in points. It's not what place you finish, but how far back from the winner that determines points.
So what is my motivation? After two races in the BUMPS series, I'm the current leader. This is really more by default than being the fastest rider. I'm the fastest rider that's done the first two races. The faster riders (three of them at Whiteface) have not done both races. There are many riders closely queued up behind me in points. If I do not do Newton's, I will no longer be points leader for Ascutney, the next race in the series I planned to do. To claim a points leader jersey, you actually have to show up and race to zip one on. It bums me out that Newton's comes before Ascutney. If I take a chance, don't do Newton's, I may never get enough points in the remaining races I plan to do to recapture the lead. So this is a fleeting opportunity. But there is a little more motivation.
Not many riders do both Newton's and the August Washington races. Bottom line is it's expensive. I registered for the August race back in February. Because the Mt Washington events are categorized as Hor, accrued points are 1.5 times the Cat 2 races, which have a 1.0 multiplier. Even a mediocre finish on Washington could net you more points than a spectacular finish on Ascutney. Whiteface and Equinox are Cat 1 climbs, deserving of a 1.25 multiplier. I did very well at Whiteface. To help my points situation out further, the three guys that beat me there did not do Okemo and are unlikely to do Newton's. This all adds up to me having a shot at claiming the overall title at the end of the series. This certainly wasn't a goal or my plan at the beginning of the season, but it is something that would be fun to go after maybe this one time. Things so far have just sort of fallen into place in my favor. Of course, any number of elite riders could participate in five of the remaining seven races and spoil my fun. Only the best five count towards final points tally.
Heavily modified Ultegra Triple crank with eliptic Q-ring
I'll be running a gearing mod I might not have run previously for the 12-percenters. It consists of single 30t Q-ring up front, Dura Ace rear derailleur and 27t cassette. Rear brake, front derailleur and associated cables are removed. You'd think this gets the weight down to silly factor. It doesn't really. I don't own delicate carbon tubular wheels. Bike weighs in right at a UCI legal 15.0 lbs, except it is partially stripped. I know riders with fully equipped bikes lighter than this. My penalty is about 15 seconds per pound. I could spend $2000 on wheels and take about 10-15 seconds off my finishing time. Is this worth it? I could easily stand to loose 5 lbs body fat. This would not only not cost me anything, I would save money by cutting 17,500 calories out of my regular diet. This would make me 75 seconds faster if I lost no power output in the process.
Newton's will be a training climb for me. No PR attempt. The weather doesn't look the most favorable for a PR at this point anyway. I would like to go for a PR in the August race though. Indicators are it is in the realm of possibilities.