Beautiful Tennessee and North Carolina mountains always remind me of Japan where the 90% of land is steep mountains. In late 60's, I was a young amateur road racing buff.
If I remember correctly, 60+ kilometer race always goaled at the top of steep hill or mountain to avoid the last seconds rush at finish line. We played easy ride games in flat area, say team member communicating and some one break away time to time but stay in cluster. This mid period of race, we were testing who could make or follow agitations( going faster and very slow sometimes).
Well, the race winner were usually determined by last several kilometer of steep up up hill battle. How fast one could go UP UP the last hill? The gears I remembr were; 46 or 47 front and 21 or 22 rear. Here again, Campy Record and Gransports could not take 28T, could it? The 6th gear was comming in at that time, racing riders were interested in smaler gear as 13 or 12T, rather than having 24 or 28T.
I do not know how they were racing Italy, France, and California mountains, but to win the road racing, one must be on the bike and pedaling! I was told, if I could not climb up strainght, go up sideways! I had a touring bike with 36 to 24, I felt so easy to pedal for fun, but did not give me enough forward speed to stay in the race I thought.
Today, if I go back to hills and mountain roads where I practiced, this body weight 22 lb extra with fat(about 10 kg), and loss of muscle by 20% to 30%(?), I could hardly walk up the road. Well, after 20+ years of contributions to IRS, and rasing 3 childrens, this body needs to borrow MTB with 24 to 36T to challenge the up hill.
Please do not put 41T to 28T for 70's Raleigh Pro, it DOES NOT look right to me. 10 speed road bike was usually 52/47 to 14,15,17,19. 21T, or 13,14,16,19,22T.
KEN TODA, in a great Piedmont (a foot of mountains) North Carolina, so I do not have to climb steep mountains!