Mount Washington Auto Road Hillclimb 2019
2019-08-20 09:41:39.000 – Benjamin Charles, Intern
Every year the Mount Washington Auto road holds various races to the summit of Mont Washington. I was lucky enough to witness the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb this week. The race took place Saturday August 17, 2019 and began at 8:30 am at the base of the Auto Road and finished at the very top of the Auto Road. Making this a relentless 7.6 mile climb with an average grade of 12% and an astonishing maximum grade of 22% for the last 50 yards. To make the race even more intense on the summit of Mount Washington was in the clouds that morning, creating a very dense fog for the last mile of the race. Winds were blowing out of the west at 15 to 25 mph, crosswinds like that can make life a nightmare for a biker. So after the race began at 8:30am spectators were already in place along the Auto Road with a large group of people waiting at the finish line.
First place male biker Erik Levinsohn passing the finish line, clocking in at 53:42 (Photo from the Mount Washington Auto Road)
As seen in this photo from the Mount Washington Auto Road http://www.iresultslive.com/?op=summary&eid=4343 crossing the finishing line at 53:42 Erik Levinsohn took first place, with his face saying it all as he uses the last of his energy to pedal through the finish. Erick Levinsohn placed third last year improving his time this year by a remarkable 2 minutes and 21 seconds. I unfortunately missed the first few bikers cross the finish line, but I did get out there in time to see female winner Stefanie Sydlik emerge from the fog and cross the finish line.
Stefanie Sydlik emerging from the fog on the steepest section of the race
Stefanie Sydlik moments before crossing the finish line to take first place for female bikers
Photo from the Mount Washington Auto Road of first place female biker Stefanie Sydlik crossing the finish line, clocking in at 1:10:32
Stefanie Sydlik placed second place in the 2018 race and now improved to first place this year surprisingly clocking in at the same exact time as last year. Both bikers that won, as well as all of the bikers that participated in the race accomplished a very tough ride on Saturday. Being a mountain biker myself I understand the grueling pain of pushing those pedals when your legs have nothing left in the tank, and have so much respect for anyone able to conquer this beast of a mountain.
Benjamin Charles, Intern