40th Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb
August 18, 2011 Starting times: 8:35-8:55 a.m.
7th Annual Newton’s Revenge
July 7, 2011 Starting times: 8:40-8:55 a.m.
· Hillclimb registration has reached capacity
· Newton’s Revenge registration now open and humming
Pinkham Notch, N.H. – Pedaling a bicycle to the summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire is one of the most difficult endeavors in New England sports – which is part of the reason so many people want to do it. Already 600 cyclists have signed up to compete in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, scheduled for the third weekend in August, and that’s as many bikes as the race can accommodate.
The good news for anyone else who wants to make the climb is that there’s a second opportunity. Registration for Newton’s Revenge, the other race held each summer on the same course, opened last weekend and will continue until the actual week of the race or until that race, too, reaches the 600-rider limit. Held on exactly the same course as the Hillclimb, Newton’s Revenge will take place this year on July 7.
Often described as more severe than the steepest climbs in the Tour de France, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is a 7.6-mile grind to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast, at an average grade of 12 percent. Making the climb even more arduous is the unpredictable Mt. Washington weather, which can include 40- to 65-mph. gusts of wind and various kinds of precipitation.
Registration for the 2012 Hillclimb opened on February 1st, and within four days the field had reached capacity, as it tends to do every year. In 2006, in order to meet the excess demand, the Mt. Washington Auto Road company management created Newton’s Revenge as a second race on the same course.
Presenting the same challenges, Newton’s Revenge has attracted professional and highly-ranked amateur cyclists as strong as those who ride in the Hillclimb. The men’s course record-holder for the Auto Road is Tom Danielson, who in 2011 was the first American finisher in the Tour de France, and who has won both races up Mt. Washington. The women’s course record-holder is legendary French cycling star Jeannie Longo. Danielson’s record for the ascent is 49 minutes 24 seconds; Longo’s is 58:14.
Registration for Newton’s Revenge opens each year as soon as registration for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb has closed. Click here for on-line registration for Newton’s Revenge.
The size of the field for both the Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge is limited by the ability of the road crews and race officials to monitor the safety of all participants and by the number of vehicles that can be parked at the summit to bring cyclists back down the hill after the race. The Hillclimb is filled to capacity every year; Newton’s Revenge typically draws between 250 and 350 riders.
The entry fee for Newton’s Revenge is $300, of which a portion is donated to various Mt. Washington Valley Bicycling Club charities in the Mt. Washington Valley. The rest of the entry fee covers the cost of substantial logistical support, food, commemorative shirt and other expenses involved in staging the event.
Riders who are already registered for the Hillclimb may enter Newton’s Revenge for $150.
Entrants in either race may also register for its practice ride. These are held on June 3, for Newton’s Revenge, and July 15 for the Hillclimb, with riders beginning the ascent any time between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. There is no additional fee for the practice ride, but the number of riders is limited to 300, and the ride is open only to riders who are already registered for the corresponding race. Registered participants will receive Practice Ride registration instructions via email.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge are two of ten events in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series, familiarly known as BUMPS. The series includes Mt. Ascutney in Vermont, Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts, Whiteface Mountain in New York State, and other uphill races, including for the first time this year the Mt. Wachusett hillclimb in central Massachusetts. For further information see www.hillclimbseries.com.