Field of 600 will make a steeper climb than the Tour de France

36th Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb August 16, 2022 (weather date August 17)

July 27, 2023  Pinkham Notch, N.H.

As the Tour de France concludes, cyclists in North America are gearing down  'way down  for next month's Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. The race, a 7.6-mile ascent to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States, is steeper, and widely regarded as more grueling, than the famous climb up the Alpe d'Huez in the mountains of eastern France. On August 16, 600 riders will battle the Auto Road's 12 percent grade and the unpredictable Mt. Washington weather, as they grind their way to the 6288-foot summit.

For 385 of those riders, the satisfaction of reaching the top of Mt. Washington will be a year overdue. These riders all were entered in the Hillclimb that was to be held a year ago, but the 2007 race was canceled by extremely inclement weather, including severe winds, precipitation and ice on the course - prohibitively unsafe conditions. These cyclists' one consolation was the knowledge that they would get priority in applying to enter the Hillclimb in 2008.

The Hillclimb's popularity speaks for itself. Registration each year opens on line at 6 a.m. on February 1, and within minutes the field is filled to its 600-rider capacity. The size of the field is limited by the ability of the road crews and race officials to monitor the safety of all participants, and by the number of vehicles that can be parked at the summit to bring cyclists back down the hill after the race.

Demand for a place at the starting line, at the foot of the famed Auto Road, is due in part to the appeal of the extreme-sport element of the race, and also due to its being an open event, which means that amateur riders can compete along with professionals. Top professional riders in the Hillclimb in previous years have included world mountain bicycling champion Ned Overend, Olympic gold medalist and Tour de France stage winner Tyler Hamilton, French cycling star Jeannie Longo, Canadian champion and current women's course record-holder Genevieve Jeanson (54 minutes 2 seconds in 2002), and the men's course record-holder Tom Danielson (49:24, also in 2002).

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the primary annual fundraiser for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Conway, N.H. For the privilege of pedaling up the unrelenting grade, sometimes with winds of 40 mph. or more, elite and amateur cyclists pay an entry fee of $300, from which all proceeds go to the educational and environmental programs of the conservation center.

Those who didn't get an entry spot for the Hillclimb this year had another option. Two years ago, in response to the overwhelming demand for entry to the Hillclimb, the management of the Mt. Washington Auto Road created an additional bike race, called Newton's Revenge and held on the same course. In a stunning bit of bad luck, what would have been the second annual Newton's Revenge in 2007 had to be canceled just like the 2007 Hillclimb, on account of impossibly bad weather, but this year that race bounced back with excellent conditions earlier this month. The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open to bicycles only four days of the year: the Hillclimb (August 16), the Hillclimb Practice Ride on July 20, Newton's Revenge on July 12, and the Newton's Revenge Practice Ride on June 8.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb starts in four waves, beginning at 8:40 a.m. with the Topnotch group and continuing with slower groups at five-minute intervals. Spectators may hike up the Auto Road prior to the start of the race. If severe weather makes it impossible to hold the race on the 16th, the race will be postponed to the following day.

For more information about the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, visit the race Web site at

The race site includes access to a complete list of entrants for the race, arranged by name, hometown or state.

For information about the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, visit

Information about Newton's Revenge is available at

For press credentials and further information about the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb or Newton's Revenge, phone or email Ryan Triffit, Public Relations for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, at (603) 466-3988 or [email protected].

©2009 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb - A benefit for: Tin Mountain Conservation Center
For Information about this race, contact Mary Power 603.466.3988 - Refund and Exchange Policy - Header Photos by Philbrick Photo
Presented by Polartec