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Local scene: Miller reaches new heights; Graham again at Wednesday Worlds

Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW) has added the inaugural North American Climber's Cup to his list of triumphs this year, following impressive wins at Arizona’s La Vuelta de Bisbee and New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila. The cup combined a pair of two-day USCF races with 42,535 feet of climbing over 233 miles - the Death Valley Road Stage Race, May 17-18, and the Everest Challenge Stage Race, June 7-8. Both were held in California’s Sierra Nevada. The Death Valley race included a 12.7-mile climb that averaged 8 percent grade, rising 5,280 feet to a finishing elevation of 9,200 feet. A $1,000

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Going up: Ron Hudson (Sportsbook.com) and Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW) reach the last of 11 switchbacks on the ...

Going up: Ron Hudson (Sportsbook.com) and Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW) reach the last of 11 switchbacks on the …

Photo: Steve Schmunk

Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW) has added the inaugural North American Climber’s Cup to his list of triumphs this year, following impressive wins at Arizona’s La Vuelta de Bisbee and New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila.

The cup combined a pair of two-day USCF races with 42,535 feet of climbing over 233 miles – the Death Valley Road Stage Race, May 17-18, and the Everest Challenge Stage Race, June 7-8. Both were held in California’s Sierra Nevada.

The Death Valley race included a 12.7-mile climb that averaged 8 percent grade, rising 5,280 feet to a finishing elevation of 9,200 feet. A $1,000 prime for finishing this climb in less than an hour went uncollected.

The Everest Challenge, which also serves as the USCF’s California-Nevada climbing championships, serves up three beyond-category climbs (all longer than 20 miles, averaging 6 percent); two Category 1 climbs; and one Category 2 climb. Other highlights include a maximum elevation of 10,250 on the highest paved road in the Sierra Nevada; three quarter-mile sections of 12-15 percent grade in the last mile of day one, at almost 10,000 feet; the Glacier climb, averaging 8 percent for nine miles; and the Ancient Bristlecone climb, which gains almost 6,600 feet, finishes with three miles of 10 percent grade at 10,100 feet, and has a maximum gradient of 17 percent.

Ron Hudson (Sportsbook.com), second in the cup, collected the Cima Coppi Award as the first to the courses’ high point. He also won the King of the Mountains competition at Everest Challenge. Chris Walker (Velo RPM), the defending Everest Challenge champion and masters 40-plus national champion for the past two years, rode strongly but was finally dethroned and ended up third in the Everest Challenge. – Tom Reid

Results:
1. Drew Miller, Landis-Trek-VW – 13:37:00
2. Ron Hudson, Sportsbook.com – 13:59:41
3. Louie Amelburu, Labor Power – 15:14:54
4. Curt Johnson, Simply Fit – 15:22:57
5. Austin Mortimer, Excel Sports – 15:34:56
6. Tom Reid, Eastside Velo-Everest Challenge – 15:43:55
7. Stephan Bourque, unattached – 16:00:28
8. Bill Tippets, SDBC – 16:08:23
9. Chris Zukowski, Redland Trek/-W – 16:45:36
10. Jeff Hager, Zombies – 16:45:52

Graham 3 for 3 in Denver series
Andy Graham (Jamba Juice) won his third straight race in the Wednesday Worlds Cycling Series June 11 at Denver’s Invesco Field.

The stadium is home to both the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rapids pro soccer team, and this week’s installment was the first of two “Ride the Rapids” nights in the series, blending criterium racing with soccer. This week the Rapids took on D.C. United, battling to a scoreless draw.

A stiff northerly breeze and the sun peeking in and out of the clouds greeted the more than 200 cyclists signed up to suffer on the roughly 1km course, which Jim Copeland (Trek-VW) described as “deceiving” because it was half uphill.

All guns were blazing from the start in the pro/1-2 race. Early breaks were swallowed up by the pack until Graham and Chuck Coyle (Vitamin Cottage) finally made a move stick, and Graham outkicked his breakaway partner at the finish. Joby Siciliano (Rio Grande) crossed third.

But the Wednesday Worlds isn’t just for the pros – all categories and ability levels were represented. April Kennedy and Jen Scully, both first-time racers, enjoyed their competition (women raced with the master men) as well as watching the pros race afterward.

“It was well organized and nice to see (volunteer race marshals) cheering us on,” said Kennedy. “We liked racing with the guys because we can only get better with that kind of competition.”

And Steve Smith and Chris Price of Team Stealth had nothing but props for the race afterwards. “It’s a cool layout with nice wide sections,” said Smith. “Good crowds and excellent crowd control. I’ll definitely do it again.” –Chris Hawkins

Results:
Pro/1-2:

1. Andy Graham, Jamba Juice
2. Chuck Coyle, Vitamin Cottage
3. Joby Siciliano, Rio Grande
4. Jim Copeland, Trek-VW
5. Alan Mc Cormack, Vitamin Cottage
6. Joe Taddecci, Vitamin Cottage
7. Ryan Starr, Jamba Juice
8. Jon Stierwalt, Rio Grande
9. Kelly Ruddick
10. Jon Tarkington, Vitamin Cottage

Masters/women:
1. Mike Piazza, East Side Wheelmen
2. Givenael Hagell, RMRC
3. Mark Ruzucki, Red Rock Velo
4. Tom Roenis, WRC-Specialized
5. Jon McKey, RMRC
6. Mike Paulin, SEAR
7. Robert Boggess, WRC-Specialized
8. Brent Buerger, Red Rock Velo
9. Brad Haswell, Velo-Spoke
10. Brad Pundahl, Velo-Spoke

Juniors
1. Alex Coelho, RMRC
2. Word Wynn, Front Rangers
3. Daniele Haulman, La Forza
4. Forest Gilette, Ridgeview
5. Emil Mariner
6. Bryce Lawson, RMCEF
7. John Downs, Front Rangers
8. Austin McNight, RINCEE
9. Drayson Bowman
10. Jose Ariag Ridgeview

Category 3:
1. Niel Flock, Duane Duggan
2. Bradly Kappus
3. Mark Erickson, RMCEF
4. Sean Madsen Hart
5. David Mulica
6. John Shippey, GS CIAO
7. Pete Stetina, 5280-Subaru
8. Robert Pinkerton, Vitamin Cottage
9. Matt Heizberger, Lakewood Racing
10. Jered Gruber, Loco’s/PTI

Senior men 4:
1. John Gaensbauer, Vitamin Cottage
2. Ryan Haris
3. Marcus Danko, Vitamin Cottage
4. Daniel Summerhill, RMCEF
5. Graeme Galyer, commotion sports
6. Chris Jacobson, WRC-Specialized
7. Seath Rubin, Mobile Cyclery