In the past, I've done the Lookout Mountain Hill Climb as a high priority race. This year it's a little interesting to be doing it as just a test of power. I didn't really care where I placed and I didn't have a goal time in mind. I just wanted to put in a good effort for 20+ minutes.
The weather was amazing. Better than any other time I've done this race. I underestimated how cool it was though, and had to run back to the car last minute to swap out some stuff. That put me a few rows back on the starting line, but no big deal since I wasn't gunning for places.
The usual start line chaos ensued. A couple guys next to me were clipped in and holding on to the rail at the start (not legal, FYI). Somebody in the second row couldn't get clipped in and ended up crashing as he stared at his feet. Some other dude nearly guttered me on the initial corner as he dove to the inside.
The pack seemed like it started off slower than usual. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to hit if from the get-go, but I couldn't get through/around enough people. Eventually things thinned out and I was just able to go at my pace. I felt pretty good. Occasionally I'd look down at my power numbers and I liked what I saw.
There's a point about 400m from the finish where the road levels off and it's a good place to get in your big ring and attack. I misjudged it this year. I thought it was still one corner up the road, so when a couple dudes flew by my I briefly let them go until I realized we were almost at the finish. Bummer, but at least it gave me a good reason to sprint to the line. I didn't pass them, but I did get right on their tail and finished with the same time.
I finished in a time of 21:13. I think that's my best ever up Lookout, which is great news. Especially because I wasn't rested up for this like I have been in the past when it was an 'A' race for me. I was also carrying a lot of extra weight uphill this time compared to usual. I wouldn't normally do a hill climb with my heavy PowerTap wheel, and I was also carrying some extra clothing for the descent.
All things considered, I'm happy with this result. I'm looking forward to my first road race of the year in a couple weeks.