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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All this is likely to do is

All this is likely to do is to get people who care about appearing to comply to put some Furious Freds on a full-rigid mtb. Odds Gary Thacker will be there on his CX bike stomping the old-guy fields regardless?

Really, if WP wants folks to leave the CX bikes at home, they need to make the course such that a CX bike is the wrong choice.

I know it's not likely, but

I know it's not likely, but it is possible that the folks wanting to race the WP HC on 'cross bikes don't own a mtb.

Regardless, I'd bet that while the times will be different, the relative placings won't change much, whether folks are on one bike or the other. Fast climbers are going to go fast, slower climbers won't.

Hmm. I see both sides,

Hmm. I see both sides, however they are the people that run the series and if they want MTB's, then that is what it is. I will be there with a ridiculously light Air 9 RDO that is lighter then my CX bike anyway so it doesn't matter to me. Ha Ha.