Independence Valley is a ~20 mile loop down in Rochester, WA, which is just off I-5 halfway between Seattle and Portland. It’s a narrow, chip-sealed route with two ~250 foot hills. That’s where the race is won and lost… those that can stick on the hills, make it to a sprint finish with maybe 20-30 other people out of some 70 that start. I figured I could hold my own at least on the first hill, and hopefully the second.
I kept up a bit about 80% of the first hill, but couldn’t keep speed. I tried to catch back on the descent, but the pack was just out of reach. Jeff, a Byrne guy who also got dropped on the hill, caught up with me and we rode to the next hill. As we were huffing up, the 5s overtook and those who could climb passed us. We let them go (not that I had much choice) and hopped on down a nice windy descent. We picked up a few of the 5s who had also been dropped and cruised the final few miles to the lap marker. The 5s we were with decided to do another lap; Jeff and I packed it in. We met up with a few other 4s who had also been dropped along the way towards the end.
Welp… time to get on the trainer and work on those hills. But hey, next week – Sequim #2!