Support vehicles began driving up the Mt. Washington Auto Road at 5:00AM as planned, but at 7:00AM race organizers called a meeting of all race participants – an unusual occurrence. A gentleman introduced himself as the director of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. He explained that he had been the director for 20 years and that he had been working on the mountain for another 7 years. With his credibility clearly established, he announced that the race - with great regret - had been cancelled. Temperatures at the summit were reported at 33 degrees with 60 mile per hour winds. Visibility was less than 25 feet. Race volunteers were falling over.
Normally, the event would be rescheduled for the next day, August 19. However, the gentleman explained, temperatures were expexted to drop into the 20s over night, winds were expected to escalate and ice was expected to form. Bottom line: No Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in 2007.
Coincidently, both days of Newton's revenge, the overflow race for the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, was cancelled in early July.
Some participants showed disapointment, while most showed relief. The Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb claim's to be the most difficult hillclimb race in the world. The Auto Road rises 4,640 feet over 7.62 miles for an average gradient of 11.53%. The Hillclimb features two, one-mile dirt road sections with grades reaching 18%. The final 300 meters of the race rises at a rate of 22%.
Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is epic - but not in 2007. It will be remembered for what was not.