Friday, July 3, 2009

Newton's Revenge on the Horizon

Just a quick update on the newest bike race up Mt. Washington. The defending champions, Anthony Colby and Marti Shea, are back to defend their titles!

Here's the press release:
Anthony Colby of Durango, Colorado, has announced that he will return to the Mt. Washington Auto Road on July 11, with his lowest-geared bicycle, to defend his title as the men’s reigning champion in Newton’s Revenge. Colby, 30, last year won this 7.6-mile bike race to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast in 55 minutes five seconds, heightening his reputation as one of the best hillclimbers among professional cyclists in the United States.

Marti Shea, 46, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, will similarly be defending her title as the women’s champion in Newton’s Revenge. Shea, an independent veteran rider and former distance runner, won Newton’s Revenge last year in one hour 14 minutes 22 seconds.

Colby made his Mt. Washington debut in 2005 in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, the older and better-known of the two bike races that take place on the same grueling course each summer. In that race he finished second, beaten only by Olympic gold medalist and four-time Mt. Washington winner Tyler Hamilton.

Now in this third year with the Colavita/Sutter Home racing team, Colby this month has already placed second in one stage of Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, fifth in another, and is #6 in USA Cycling’s individual National Racing Calendar (NRC) rankings. Colavita/Sutter Home is the top team in the NRC rankings. Elsewhere, he has won the King of the Mountains title (i.e., best climber) in the 2007 Tour de ‘Toona in Altoona, Pennsylvania, won the 2008 Tour of El Paso and placed in the top three finishers in two stages of the Tour of the Gila.

Marti Shea is in fact the only woman ever to win Newton’s Revenge, having also won it in its inaugural year, 2006. In 2007 dangerous weather on the summit forced that race’s cancellation. The 2006 men’s winner was Paul Carpissassi, who finished remarkably in exactly one hour to the nearest tenth of a second.

Registration --

Newton’s Revenge will accept entrants until 5 p.m. on July 9. The entry fee for Newton’s is $300, or $450 for tandems. As the “other” race up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Newton’s Revenge opens for registration only after the Hillclimb has filled to its capacity of 600 entrants. This year the Hillclimb opened for registration on February 1 and filled to capacity two days later. The registration site for Newton’s Revenge is The Hillclimb will take place on August 15.

Background --

Professional cyclists have repeatedly called Mt. Washington a tougher hill to climb than the most difficult ascent in the Tour de France. The Mt. Washington Auto Road rises at an average grade of 12 percent to the summit of Mt. Washington, at 6288 feet the highest point in the northeastern United States. Pedaling in lower gears than anyone normally uses anywhere else, ambitious riders climb 4650 feet in altitude, usually while buffeted by Mt. Washington’s notorious high winds, clouds, fog and other elements.

Race day details –

Sponsored by Polartec, with additional sponsorship from Coca Cola, Michelin, Hammer Nutrition, BikeReg, VDO and the local Red Jersey Cyclery, Newton’s Revenge starts on July 11 at 8:40 a.m. when the first of four waves of riders sprint from the starting line through 400 meters of downhill and then flat road, then begin the grueling ascent. Three successive waves of riders follow at five-minute intervals.

The record for the fastest time on a bicycle up the Auto Road is 49 minutes 24 seconds, set by Tom Danielson in the 2002 Hillclimb. The women’s course record is 54:09, set by Genevieve Jeanson the same year.

On race day, the Auto Road is open beforehand just for support vehicles to drive to the summit with dry clothing and food for the cyclists. In case of prohibitively bad weather on the 11th, the race will be postponed to July 12. Should the entire weekend be canceled by weather, entrants will be refunded half of the $300 entry fee.

Bike Up Mountains Points Series --

Newton’s Revenge and the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb are two of nine events in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series, familiarly known as BUMPS. The series begins with a race up Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks on June 20 and concludes on October 10, with the two races up Mt. Washington and five other hillclimbs at various locations throughout the summer. At the conclusion, the King and Queen of the Mountains prizes are awarded to the man and woman accumulating the greatest number of points in five of the nine races. In view of the “hors categorie” (beyond category) steepness of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, points earned in Newton’s Revenge and the Hillclimb are doubled. For further information see

Benefit for Observatory --

The Mount Washington Observatory, which receives significant contributions via the proceeds of Newton’s Revenge, is a private, non-profit scientific and educational institution. Its mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate, by maintaining its mountaintop weather station, conducting research and educational programs and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region. Newton’s Revenge will also benefit other local charities.

For more information visit

1 comment:

  1. nice post and thanks for sharing....

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