Race Report for Mt. Penn Hill Climb

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The Reading Radsport Festival kicked off Friday, September 8th with the Mt. Penn Hill Climb. The race coincided with a night of music in the City Park Bandshell and music from local bands all the way up Duryea Drive. Starting in City Park, riders rode 0.2 miles neutral before starting their 2.2 miles timed portion from the base of Duryea Drive to the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower on Skyline Drive. Each rider had a timing chip and riders were sent off in waves of 20-25 separated by 2-minute intervals with the fastest cumulative time calculated as the winner of the evening. The pro fields had an incentive to place well with a $500 bonus for the top placed rider between both days of racing.

Hall uses tactics to win based on time

The Pro Men’s race saw tactics and heat collaboration affect the overall. Heat 1 contained local favorite Shane Kline (Rally Pro Cycling) from Bally, PA along with Stephen Hall (PA Lightning), and Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U25) among the 20 starters. The second heat contained three Rally Pro Cycling riders including the newly minted Pan Am Gold Medalist, Eric Young. Both heats saw a lot of potential team tactics to occur as Rally could time trial up to Heat 1 and work with Kline. However, Stephen Hall used his extensive track experience to drop off the group during the neutral roll out, then pick off riders in Heat 1 all the way to the wheels of Kline and Gomez. Behind in Heat 2, the Rally Pro Cycling train was not able to get themselves up to Heat 1. Ahead, Kline, Hall, and Gomez separated themselves from the group and Kline sprinted to the top of the climb with Hall close to his wheel. Kline crossed the finish line on Mt. Penn first, but because Hall had tactically considered the race format he was the winner with a time of 7:17.35 over Kline’s 7:20.97.

Shane Kline crossed the line first but Stephen Hall started later so his time was faster. Photo by Martin Vecchio

Mellow Mushroom drive the pace for Spence

Pro Women rolled out in a single heat with a few Mellow Mushroom riders against riders without teammates. Three separated themselves early from the rest – Kat Sweatt (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers p/b Van Dessel), Emily Spence (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers p/b Van Dessel), and Cheryl Clark (EPS Racing). Sweatt did a lot of the early pace setting for Spence to secure the podium for at least the two Mellows. Clark was able to hold to the wheel of Spence up to the Memorial Fire Tower but she was not able to come around Spence in the final few meters to finish second.

Photo by Martin Vecchio

120 Amateurs and Citizens give Mt. Penn a shot

The Amateur/Citizen’s Race saw 120 local riders toe the line in 6 heats. By this point in the evening, all four of the music zones were playing on Duryea Drive. William Walton of Young Medalist took the top male time with 8:26 and Jill Lewis clocked the fastest female time of 12:00.

Jill Lewis on her way to 12:00 time to claim the amateur hill climb crown. Photo by Erika Fulk
William Walton (Young Medalists) won the amateur hill climb with a time of 8:26. Photo by Erika Fulk

PRO MEN’S RESULTS

  1. Stephen Hall (PA Lightning) – 7:17
  2. Shane Kline (Rally Pro Cycling) – 7:20
  3. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson U25) – 7:23

PRO WOMEN’S RESULTS

  1. Emily Spence (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers pb Van Dessel) – 9:24
  2. Cheryl Clark (EPS Racing) – 9:28
  3. Kat Sweatt (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers pb Van Dessel) – 9:53

MALE AMATEUR

  1. William Walton (Young Medalists) – 8:26
  2. Loren Barish (World Cup Ski & Cycle Racing Team) – 9:00
  3. Corey Ridgick (Unattached) – 9:01

FEMALE AMATEUR

  1. Jill Lewis (Unattached) – 12:00
  2. Randi Dahms (Unattached) – 12:26
  3. Victoria Lawrence (Team Skyline) – 14:06

CORPORATE CHALLENGE

  1. IM ABLE Foundation

Full Results at USA Cycling