Del Puerto Canyon
This route is a subset of the Patterson/Early Bird Road Race, traditionally the first race of the Northern California road racing season, promoted by the legendary Velo Promo. This version starts well outside of Patterson, where the real-life race begins, shortening the route to under 50 km. It opens with 20 km of gradual uphill, typically 2%, but with brief sections slightly steeper, as the road winds along the bottom of the canyon. But here things get more interesting… From 20 km to 22 km, the grade gradually increases, a warning of what’s to come: a 2.5 km at an average 9.3%, with sections reaching 12%, finally relenting just a short distance from the turn-around. But while the major climbing is done, in a way, the race is just beginning, because after 4 km of rapid descending, a chance for races both climbing and descending to see the gaps to riders behind or ahead, there’s still a 20 km run back to the finish line. The downward grade here, typically 2%, isn’t enough to let up on the pedals. Rather it’s just enough to make drafting a huge benefit, and so groups MUST work together, and a solo rider off the front is going to face an extreme challenge to hold that gap all the way to the end. The road is ever-twisting, rarely flat, so with groups shattering on the steep climb, then hammering on the seemingly endless run from the base of the main descent back to the finish, memorable racing is guaranteed.
Original code: jOY9ZdftnUkS