Need some advice. I just finished my second century of the season, this one had over 7,000 feet of climbing. I've done this ride every year for the past 5 or 6, so I know it well. Anyway, I started out great, climbed really for the first half or so, but toward the end I just hit a wall---no power in the legs whatsoever for climbs (thankfully 3/4 of the climbing was done). I know this is due to fatigue, not enough long rides coming up to it due to travel, etc.
However, this problem has persisted for a couple years now---I climb really well at first, can keep up a great pace without working all that hard, and then suddenly, nothing left. I do about 5 centuries a year, and most are mountainous. I train for hills more than anything else, doing lots of climbing repeats, muscle tension intervals, etc. I keep a cadence of 70-80 when riding mountains (except when impossible due to steepness).
That is all background information for my real question, which is this: Anyone have any suggestions on how to extend my leg power longer into a long, mountainous ride? I ride with guys pretty much exclusively, and while I keep up with most of them (or even drop some ), at the end of long rides they still have power on the hills and I don't. The one thing I haven't done much of is weights (like leg presses, extensions and squats). Might those help? Any other ideas? It kind of annoys me to be passed on hills by people that I dropped hard earlier in a ride!