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Mt Evans Hill Climb

July 8, 2023 - July 9, 2023


The Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb is an iconic bike race on North America’s highest paved road. It began in 1962 as the Mt. Evans Hill Climb and was renamed in 1981 to honor 5-time race winner Bob Cook who died of cancer at 23. Picked as one of our best road cycling events in Colorado, the event is produced by Team Evergreen Cycling and is in partnership with the Gran Fondo National Series.

The race starts at an altitude of 7,540 feet and climbs to 14,130 feet, 130 feet below Mount Evans’ summit. Due to the altitude, the event requires special preparation. Unless you’ve had 5-7 days to acclimate to high altitude, a common technique is to arrive and complete the event within 24 hours. The start line is at The Old Middle School, 320 Chicago Creek Road in Idaho Springs. The finish is twenty-eight miles away at the summit. Juniors finish at Echo Lake, which is eleven miles up the mountain. Also, you need to be prepared for inclement weather. Even in the middle of summer, it can be cold at 14,000 feet, not to mention wind, rain, or snow potential.  Echo Lake will have an aid station with water, a hydration mix, and gels.  Water, hydration mix, and gels will also be available at the summit. Be prepared to ride down to your car.

Over the years, the race has attracted significant professional riders. Riders come from all over the United States, and the race commonly attracts riders from France, Switzerland, Germany, and Australia compete. The age range of the participants is from nine to eighty-five years. The race is also supported by volunteers from the Colorado cycling community who help marshal, drive support, officiate and work the picnic. The event includes categories for all levels of racing and encourages riders of all abilities. Between six hundred and a thousand riders compete each year in several categories. You can read more about the history of the event on Wikipedia.

Even though the event is not a traditional Gran Fondo, Mt. Evans is a Gran Fondo National Series partner event. The series was established in 2012 and comprises eight European-style rides/races staged in the United States and six partner events. Traditional GFNS events offer courses covering 30, 60, and 100-mile journeys through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrains in endurance sports. Timed sections allow riders to compete in specific course segments, while casual cyclists can ride at their own pace. Participants can ride as individuals or on teams. GFNS awards special prizes to the top riders in every age and gender category. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for the best time through highlighted sections.



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