The 2012 Low-Key Hillclimbs are done! And it was an extremely successful year.
This was the year of the Junior, as the men's overall was taken by Adrien Costa, who capped off his successful year with the win in the Mount Hamilton Thanksgiving climb, beating Irish Hillclimb champion Ryan Sherlock in a tactical race. Adrien set the Strava KOM (beating a false match to Jacob Berkman's Mt Hamilton Road Race data; the road race doesn't do the time-sucking summit road), and broke David_Wyandt's long-standing record from 1998. Ryan, finishing second, also beat David's time, not giving him three of the top five times. To be fair, it's off-season for Ryan, but then again it's also off-season for Adrien. After third place Eric Wohlberg, fourth place also went to a junior, Andrew Biscardi. This is the best year yet for Low-Key juniors, the previous best arguably Menso de Jung's excellent season in 2006.
In the women's rankings, it was Lisa Penzel who finished at the top of every week's climb until Hamilton, when she finished third to Melanie Spath and Katelyn Connell. Melanie is Irish women's time trial champion. Lisa may have lacked the training volume for Hamilton's long distance. Despite that, she posted a very fine score for third place.
In the tandem division, it was the Paul's: McKenzie and Chuck, who took the overall. They were the most successful all-male tandem in Low-Key history: more often tandems are mixed male-female. Second place went to another excellent climb from the Brehmers: Dan and Winnie.
In the team competition it was all Team Brown Zone, who did it all. They delivered excellent rides at the climbs, they had a custom team kit which looked really good, and they produced an amazing team effort in coordinating the West Hwy 9 climb. In every way they deserved the position of top Low-Key team. Western Wheelers was a very strong second, while the Sisters and Misters of No Mercy was a solid third.
I missed the final climb due to a family event in Philadelphia. But it was great following the results as they appeared on Strava, then Pat Parseghian did an amazing job of preparing the Low-Key watch-timed results, and resolving the ambiguities which always pop up as tired riders gasp out their numbers. Results seem excellent.
I'm super-grateful to everyone who helped with the series.
One curious fact: turn-out was the best since 2009, but it was larger that year, the which was the best turn-out for a Low-Key climb since 1998. That's strange since conditions were excellent and turn-out has generally been excellent this year. Post-Lance-Armstrong-burnout? Perhaps. But there's also just random variation in turn-out, and the difference is within expected statistical variation.