BBC: Miami Route Recon
What You Need to Know for the Hublot Best Buddies Challenge: Miami
Richard Fries is the Director of Cycling Experience for the Best Buddies Challenges. With more than 40 years experience, he has been a racer, commuter, tourist, promoter, advocate, journalist and commentator on the sport and lifestyle of cycling. Having raced at the professional level both in America and Europe, Fries is well known as a race announcer having called countless USA Cycling National Championships, World Cups, and UCI World Championships. But he is also a tireless advocate having recently served as the executive director of MassBike. You can follow him on Strava to learn more.
The 2019 Hublot Best Buddies Challenge: Miami is a week away and we’re excited to start and finish at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort on Miami Beach. The new venue offers our riders new route options that present far more challenges. The ride is 10 miles farther that previous years and the position of three new bridge crossings late in the route means you will face your toughest Miami challenge ever.
Those of us spoiled by watching European pros climb the Pyrenees or Dolomites may smirk at the flat profile of this route. But add the prospect of some wind, which typically comes from the Northeast during November, and you will be hitting those bridges with fatigued legs and challenged souls. You will have to push into a head or crosswind for 30 of the last 35 miles! Much like a Dutch one-day classic, this ride will test all the participants.
Riding alongside such Tour de France veterans Chris Froome, George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde will be exhilarating, no doubt. The first half of the ride, even with the bridge on the Rickenbacker Causeway, will prove deceptively easy with the tailwind. The pros will get a chance to show off their legs for the first of two breakaway sections on the route. We mortals will struggle to simply survive.
The key here is to conserve.
Get to the rest stop and then continue south with the tailwind.
At mile 34.5, however, the course turns right and into the wind on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The riders on the front will need to move into the engine room. This is where a struggling rider wants to be near the front and a few rows back and out of the wind. With each turn thereafter, note the subtle need to adjust position according to direction of the wind. At miles 50 and 55.5 come some modest bridges, the second of which could offer the mercy of a brief tailwind.
The challenge really begins with the odometer hits 60 miles. Riders will head up and over the Lehman Causeway Bridge only to turn around and go into the wind for a return pass. This will set up the riders for the final surge, a breakaway section on the final mile of the ride. The lone salvation for the final stretch is there should be a bit of wind on the back. Then it’s on to the finish line, and some badly needed spa treatments!
The Bridges of the Hublot Best Buddies Challenge: Miami
|6||Julia Tuttle Causeway||Controlled pace. 68 feet in elevation.|
|8||Julia Tuttle Causeway||Controlled pace. 68 feet in elevation.|
|15||Wm. Powell Bridge (Rickenbacker)||Breakaway pace! 77 feet in elevation|
|27.5||Wm. Powell Bridge (Rickenbacker)||Controlled pace.77 feet in elevation.|
|50||79th Street Causeway Bridge||Controlled pace. Draw bridge. 25 feet in elevation|
|55.5||Broad Causeway Bridge||Controlled pace. Draw bridge. 16 feet in elevation|
|63.5||Lehman Causeway Bridge||Controlled pace. 65 feet in elevation.|
|65.5||Lehman Causeway Bridge||Controlled pace. 65 feet in elevation.|
|69||Haulover Bridge||Breakaway pace! 38 feet in elevation|