I rode out to Danville to meet the HOP ride at Peets Coffee. The weather was cool and overcast and there was a nasty headwind out. I was glad when two Tri Valley Velo guys caught up with me at Blackhawk and I had some company for the final run to the start. It was a pretty good turnout and I noticed a few fast faces.
The actual pace up Tassajara was fairly restrained but the fireworks started on Highland. I was a bit far back in the group but managed to hang in for the sprint for the county line. I got a STRAVA PR on this section (Highland Rollers to County Line). The pace kept fast up to North Livermore where there was the usual nasty crosswinds and I had to work really hard to cut my own echelon. I felt ok but the old legs were hurting by the sprint point.
Things were pretty quick up until Collier but the strong winds discouraged too many frisky antics. I was hoping to be able to contest the sprint at the top of Collier so I sat near the front in third place. One rider put in a fantastic pace up the first half of the climb and by the time it was my turn on the front my legs were starting to hurt. There was a pretty strong wind near the top and I was working hard to keep the pace up. One rider attacked about a mile from the top and I had to dig deep to chase. We caught the rider just before the turn up to the last section and I found myself on the front into a strong headwind. When the final sprint came I was toast and barely hung onto the leading group. I got gapped about 20 feet at the Windmill but it didn’t matter as I was turning off for home.
As usual the HOP was a great workout and my legs were very tired on the ride home.