After postponing the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) because of the then raging Waldo Canyon Wildfire, PPIHC officials have now announced that the Race to the Clouds will commence next month, on Sunday, August 12th.
Witnessing the enormous draw of safety personnel and resources to the Waldo Canyon fires, PPIHC official decided to cancel its scheduled July 8th running of the race, as the requisite number of support staff would be unable to attend, as they were battling the nearby blaze. Now with the Waldo Canyon Wildfire nearing complete containment, Colorado Springs officials can turn their attention to other matters.
“The City of Colorado Springs is thrilled that the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is back on track,” said Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach. “We are committed to dedicate the needed resources to make this year’s Hill Climb the best ever. As we have said throughout this community crisis – Colorado Springs is open for business!”
Defending his rookie win from 2011, Carlin Dunne will be back on the mountain with teammate Greg Tracy, as they ride for the Spider Grips Ducati Team. Both Dunne and Tracy will be on the Ducati Multistrada 1200, the same bikes they raced last year, though this will be the first time either rider has raced on the now fully paved road to the top of the mountain.
Getting some practice sessions ahead of the original July 8th race date, the Spider Grips Ducati Team and the rest of the PPIHC field have had a chance to practice on the new all-asphalt course, with the early reports being that the paved sections are significantly different from their dirt predecessors, both in surface conditions and also road layout.
The fully paved road will of course mean new class records across the board, but it may also mean a new breed of competitor on the mountain. Stay tuned this August to see how the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb pans out.