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Old 06-02-09, 10:43 AM   #1
mike868y
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Tour of the Hilltowns 2009

Has anyone done this event in years past? I haven't raced before, but am looking at entering it as my first race. I've been told I would be stronger in a road race because I'm a good climber. Has anyone done this race? What were your thoughts on the course, how it was run, etc.Would you recomend it as a good first race? I like in northeast CT, so if there are any other events in Southern New England which would be a better first race, let me know. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-09, 11:15 AM   #2
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Aren't the Tokeneke and Housatonic races in your area? They're challenging courses, lots of up and down.

As for hilltowns, its a well run race. Registration is easy, parking is plentiful, enough officials, enough toilets.

I think its a good course. There's a fairly hairy descent near the beginning of the race. Cracked pavement, some sand on the road, sweeping turns, and sketchy packs. That's the most technically challenging part of the course, IMO.

After that descent there's a longish climb, around 4-5mi in length that avg's somewhere between 5 and 6% and gets steeper as it goes. It can be tough. After that there are a lot of rollers, followed by a miles long uphill false flat finish with some fairly steep kickers in it.

If you do well at Hilltowns, you can probably do well at most races.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:01 PM   #3
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Hey Penguin, thanks for all the great info. It sounds like a tough event, but maybe one that I would do well in. But, my mom just told me thats the date of my uncles wedding, so its a no go on that race haha. I was going to do Tokeneke, as a few of my buddies are, but I'm doing a 200mi ride with my local cycling club the day before, so I'm going to be in some dire need on recovery on the 9th. I can't do Housatonic either because I have a motocross race that day... But thanks for the recomendations.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:02 PM   #4
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What about Union Vale? Just across the border in NY
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Old 06-02-09, 04:46 PM   #5
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I was looking at that race, didn't get a chance to see where in NY it is. I'm going to mapquest it right now...
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Old 06-02-09, 08:37 PM   #6
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I may do Tour of the Hilltowns as a 5 still and I'm pretty sure grolby was targeting it.

My name is also Mike.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:12 PM   #7
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I may do Tour of the Hilltowns as a 5 still and I'm pretty sure grolby was targeting it.

My name is also Mike.
Was, but I won't be in town anymore at that point. Bummer - by all reports, it's a fantastic race.
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Old 06-30-09, 01:53 PM   #8
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So who else is doing this race? I might do it, still a 5. It would be nice if a few us could work together in the race.

-Fbmxer
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Old 06-30-09, 07:43 PM   #9
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I'm registered for the 5s...should be my last or next to last race as a 5.

Back in the day long steady climbs were my thing....but 15 years off a bike and 20 lbs heavier than prior racing weight mean its a different matter.

Raced it last year also...split wide open on the tough climb, a few groups came together through the rollers....a good paceline could bring you back to the front before the final false flat / climb to the finish.

Think I was about 15th last year...would like to do a bit better this time around. Recall that last year I ended up with big bruises on both calves for several days afterwards..cramping started near the top of the climb and persisted for the rest of the race...
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Old 06-30-09, 08:05 PM   #10
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I tend to avoid races with the words hill or mountain in them...
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Old 06-30-09, 08:50 PM   #11
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I'm signing up for hilltowns and tokeneke. Hopefully they won't fill up before I have a chance to pay the money.

Hoping to help out the team. I don't think I have what it takes to ride a hilly race yet, but lets see. I've been surprising myself all season.

I should probably stop gaining weight right about now though.
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Old 07-01-09, 07:33 AM   #12
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Coming off the Quabbin Century, B2B and training rides I have close to 60,000ft of vertical in my legs this year.

My main goal is to:

1) Stay Upright

2) Stay near the front

If I can do that then everything else should slot into place.

Last edited by FormerBMX'er; 07-01-09 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:10 PM   #13
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I did E Hawley Road twice yesterday (and the W. Hawley Rd descent). I didn't think the surface of the descent was that bad, but it is plenty fast, as I hit 42mph coasting. There is a bridge undergoing repair on this part (though in a flat section), which is down to one lane, and the lane is full of pot holes. I hope they fix that in the next 3 weeks.

The climb, of course, is tough. There is a long sustained 9/10 percent section in the middle. I had a 39x25, but I wanted a 27 to be able to sit in this section. It will be very interesting to see how the pack hits this climb; will it be conservative at first and blow apart later, or just explode in the first mile? Mark, do you remember how it went last year?
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