MTB Thursday - No Cyclocross bikes at this years Winter Park Hill Climb

Kris finishing up to victory on Winter Park HC years ago
Photo Credit: Mountain Moon Photography

Winds of change are coming to the Winter Park Hill Climb this year as any bike besides a mountain bike is being strongly discouraged according to their marketing email. As a former winner of the Winter Park Hill Climb myself while using a cross bike I feel this is a good public statement for them to make to clear up any ambiguity of what bike to use however I'd rather prefer to see them alter the course to make cx bikes at a disadvantage then to simply request for no CX bikes - think of it as a more Darwin approach to the solution than a marketing one.

From Marketing Email from Epic Series

"The Epic Hill Climb is in just a few weeks. Please note that this series is a MOUNTAIN BIKE race series, so let's have people racing on mountain bikes: Leave the road, the hybrid, the cross bike, the unicycle at home, and race the hill climb on your mountain bike. We are not the bike police but you guys know the difference. If it's advertised as, sold as, and called a mountain bike, it probably is one. Please bring the mountain bike!"

For me the Winter Park HC starts my season for Cyclocross training and that course is perfect for a cx bike but a lot of negative energy is focused on cross bike riders for that course as this race series is one for Mountain Bike riders. My win didn't matter much in the end for the series as I rarely did all the races and the others I did I got my ass kicked.

But with no course correction than why not let the best bike be used? Kind of saying no TT bikes can be used in a stage race. I imagine you will see some very stripped down hard-tails this year but at least they will be mountain bikes. Either way, hopefully this request from the promoter will clarify and bike issue and even the field for others as cross bike riders have a advantage because it is the perfect bike for the event.

Photo Credit Mountain Moon Photography

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Appreciate all the comments on the WP Hill Climb

This has turned out to be most interesting topic than I had originally thought, lots of sides to this issue. Not mentioned yet and I'll make some assumptions here, it was mentioned that adding "singletrack" could cause bottle necking and I agree but I wonder if double, triple or quadtrack solution is on option? I bet though even though possible, I imagine the national forest service would not approve of it and hence the promoters hands are tied.

Again, I agree with the promoters position on this and understand the situation they are in and this is why I will never ever be a promoter... it's not an easy job.

Regardless of this new recommendation I can't imagine the fun level for this event being changed any. Either you love the hill climbs or hate it regardless of which machine you choose to race with. Wish I could be there this year to attempt it but Ride the Rockies will have me that day.