Wards Ferry Road Race starts right in front of Yosemite's door steps. It's a hilly course - 11 miles and 1,000 ft. of climbing for 5 laps. This race is one for the climbers and breakaway riders. Riding in cat 3 was Philly Williams and Aria Kiani for TMB. Both riders are strong climbers so the objective was simply to keep an open mind and all the options were on the table. Whatever happened, each of the riders would help one another.
Close to the second lap, Aria upped the pace on a longer climb to see if the small group of 20 were willing to chase. Only one racer followed and the break was made. When Aria asked the other rider to step it up and do some work, he ended up doing the opposite after the top of a hill. Now, with 25 seconds on the peloton Aria decided to step it up.
The descents were quick with his Specialized 2015 Tarmac edging down corners with precision. The roads were pitchy one lane country roads which made it hard for the group to gain back time. The climbs were also pitchy and came one after another. Matches were being burnt every time the pace changed, which seemed like every 2-3 miles. Aria rode to power with his Vector S powermeter until the matchbox was empty.
The final lap was agonizing as it was a struggle to hold a strong pace after 1:11:40 in a solo break. The final gap at the finish was an impressive 2mins 40secs to the peloton and 50 secs from second place.
Finally, climbing season has started!