Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hilly Race Attracts Top Road Racers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hilly Race Attracts Top Road Racers

Article excerpt

In the city, the most challenging bicycling event is the Dirty Dozen, an annual assault on 12 -- and sometimes 13 -- of the steepest and toughest hills in and around Pittsburgh.

Its country cousin is the Mount Davis Challenge, a 40-mile road race over the highest point -- 3,213 feet -- in Pennsylvania. The annual event attracts top racers from Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

The challenge, which is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the official governing body of amateur bicycle racing in the United States, will be Aug. 3. The total climb is almost 5,000 feet.

The rain-or-shine race, hosted by the Confluence Tourism Association, will begin at 11 a.m. in that southern Somerset County town, head out Route 523, up Fort Hill Road and then roller coaster over two-lane roads toward Mount Davis.

After reaching the rocky and wooded peak, the riders will loop around the back side of the mountain and make their way back to Confluence on the same roads they used to reach the summit.

"Prolonged climbs, fast descents and some rough road surfaces make this event a true challenge," said race director Jim Sota of Rockwood. The scenic course includes extended climbs.

Men and women riders will compete in both ability and age categories for a total of $1,500 in cash prizes as well as some merchandise prizes. The award ceremony will be in the gazebo in the town park.

The entry fee is $25 before July 30 and $35 on race day. All riders are required to have a USA Cycling license and a one-day license will be available on race day for $15 for non-licensed riders.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the community center next to the town park in Confluence. All riders must wear a helmet and no rider is permitted to cross the center line of any road.

Traffic will be controlled at intersections and the Somerset County Amateur Radio Club will provide radio support. …

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