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It’s just a day out from go-time. Don’t forget about the race within the race. 

Segment Hunter‘s year-long contribution kicks off tomorrow morning over the muddy, icy Barry-Roubaix course. One of the biggest races of the year deserves a very big competition, and of course, a very big segment to tackle.

We’ve chosen the Graveyard Climb for the very first Segment Hunter challenge. The original plan was to use the Three Sisters Segment, but the numerous reports of dangerous conditions there have forced a change of venue, if you will. The Graveyard Climb is a short, relatively steep climb, but where it comes in to play makes it very tough. It also has a freakin’ awesome name. This year, it comes just before the 36 mile and 62 mile split, much later in the race than in years past. It will be after miles and miles of ice, mud and snow, and these little punchy peaks will prove back-breakers to a riders shadow-boxing and just barely holding on.

It’s just .3 miles and under 100 feet of ascent, but the conditions will make this a veritable wall. If the weather is anything close to right, it should be muddy and into the wind, as well. Because it comes before the 36/62 mile split, almost the entire race will have a shot at the segment, meaning thousands of riders will have the chance to attack over the top and see where their times leave them.

Atop the leaderboard now, and probably safe from losing the KOM due to that mud and ice, are Craig Webb and Jeffrey Payne,  both of whom set the KOM out of competition. Unless the Graveyard Climb becomes a launching pad for some ambitious riders to make a move, the times should be considerably slower. Or so we guess.

The rider with the fastest time on the Graveyard Climb Saturday will win a Segment Hunter t-shirt from D2 Labs. Worth every pedal stroke.

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