Dave Latourette wrote:
The rough sections as follows
- The Alexander Valley area / 128 corridor is the most inconsistent part of the course and def still has rough pavement (with short sections of good) ... so that's a total of 30 miles of inconsistent pavement unfortunately.
- Mark West Station 1 mile of very poor pavement
- Wohler Rd ... 3/4 mile of rough pavement (call it 1 mile)
- Willowside Rd has been repaved
So ... if we want to say 30 miles (which really only 50% is poor) + 1 mile + 1 mile, that's 32 miles
That's really not the majority of roads as mentioned. If one comes from riding the trainer 90% of the time OR a place where you have 100% smooth roads then it is fortunate and will need to adapt here. Athletes coming from Australia & NZ think these are the best roads they ride on. Perspective I guess.
As a side note ... While announcing in T1 on race day I was astounded by the amount of pressure athletes were pumping there tires too. Why are we putting 110+ PSI in 23c tire on Zipp Firecrest (or similar)? I talked a handful of athletes of the ledge and they thanked me later ;-)
I did Vineman as an independent race once and IMVM in 2016. While the bike course today is not exact most of it is on the same roads. The roads are not great but I never felt any hardship at all from the conditions of the roads. As a matter of fact the only place where I lost a bottle was when I went over some train tracks but there's little that can be done about that.
Overall I think Sonoma Valley is one of the best places to race anywhere. The volunteers there are so experienced and so very good. And the location is beautiful for a race or for a vacation. The only negative thing I will say is that there are some residents (few but vocal) that are very opposed to the race. I think IM has some work to do in improving the relationship with those residents. Aside from that my experiences there were so good that the few miles of poor roads really just blended in the background of an awesome day. Must-do race IMO.