Sounds like fun m o b ! Be careful not to crash your CERVELO for once...we'd sure like to see you on the podium again like last year! BTW...is Ms. P-Cup invited again this year? For next year, if both events don't coincide, let's do Utsukushigahara as well.
Keren hi! No, don't worry about the first 21%+ hill...it is so short that it is almost neglectable. Many people are so much hyped on that they shoot away all their ammunition on this first hill with little left for the remainder of the race. Keep breathing under control and gradually increase speed once you are over it.
Thanks for the encouraging words Terry...I'll remember them! m o b will be giving his best fight in Hitachi-Naka while I'll be cursing myself for climbing in my usual lousy way. Will be aiming to better last year's time (1:19 or something) but if it rains it'll be impossible. I sure hope it won't because I want to catch up on the downhill part near the end. Too bad you can't make it this year...be there next year for sure!
Keren, I'm afraid so...last year, we were lucky as it only started to rain immediately after the race after most competitors had already reached the top. Some advice in case it rains: (1) do not inflate your tires to the max, (2) there is a very fast downhill stretch towards the end of the race where you can easily reach 60km/h+ speeds...do the braking extra carefull in the curves!, (3) wait to put on the rain jacket until after the race for the downhill part (you'll get very wet anyways and wearing it during the climb will simply suffocate you!)
Hang out your teruterubozus and let's pray for dry conditions!
Good luck guys in Ukutsushigahara. I hope the weather will be ok for you. I'm pretty excited about Hitachi Naka as well. I went out for a training ride yesterday afternoon to Otarumi and Yabitsu. Were able to beat my Togebaka best times at both locations [check here : http://positivo-espresso.blogspot.com/].
Fine drizzling rain above elevation 500, an old Lancia Stratos crusing up the slopes and a deer munching from the scrubs on the road side. Yabitsu is my favourite climb, beautiful landscape, small roads, no traffic and so many flat stretches.
Just read your blog and it sums up the weekend very well. At least I managed a long ride on Saturday up the other side of the plateau and got to see the top of Ukutsushigahara and we then rode down the race course.
And I heard on the way back home besides the top being clouded out, it was very windy and there were some landslides on the road. With sheets of water flowing down the road the descent would have been hell. Must have been tough, but the race organizers made the correct call. To be honest I was undecided if I was going to do the race or not under those conditions and was relieved when it was called off.
Sorry that we didn't get to meet up, I was staying with Dan U. and he mentioned that he spoke to you. At least I got to see the infamous hill and I will know what to expect next year.
Hi Keren...next year better luck! The organizers surely made the right decision. Didn't know about the landslides. The proprietress of the inn where I stayed told us that the upper reaches of the route were enveloped in "gas". It appears this is a local term to describe thick mist "moya". I too was relieved the event was cancelled...you don't want to do the fast downhill part of this race with zero visibility!