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The richest prize in bike racing right now has just been announced: $5000 USD to the female who rides the fastest time up the iconic ‘Old La Honda’ climb before April 15, 2020.
Currently held by 37 year old Courtney Nelson (Team Twenty20) with a time of 17 minutes flat, the segment on Strava is 4.80km (2.98 mi), 506m (1660 ft) of vertical gain, at an average of 8%. The climb is located in Silicon Valley, just outside Palo Alto in the Portola Valley.
Mark Slavonia is the man putting up the challenge and the money and said on Twitter, “I’m offering a $5,000 prize to the female athlete who holds the fastest time up the iconic Old La Honda climb in Northern California on April 15. I’ve always wanted to do this, and now seems like a good time – the biggest bike race in the world right now.”
Slavonia is an investment partner at Slavonia Investments in the San Francisco Bay area and said on his website,
I would like to increase the bounty if anyone wants to join me, and others are encouraged to replicate this structure on their own favorite climbs. Please keep it safe out there in the extraordinary time, choose only safe and slow segments, and ride carefully to avoid injury.
Each effort must be reasonably verifiable – that is, the rider should show a track record of high level performances, and the GPS file may be scrutinized for tampering. No e-bikes or drafting behind motorized pacers allowed. Gender qualifications will follow USA Cycling’s guidelines. I reserve the right to make the award in my sole discretion. Ties on Strava will be split evenly. If the QOM is not broken by April 15, the prize will awarded to the current QOM, Courtney Nelson.
I’ll also be producing and installing a commemorative plaque that will salute the winner at the top of Old La Honda. Go get ’em, good luck.
For those of you who can’t make it to the Old La Honda climb because of current travel bans, you can experience the climb on the indoor trainer FulGaz (currently offering a 1 month free trial using code 58cofg).
UPDATE: All 40 million residents in the state of California have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please be aware, understand, and respect local government orders during this time, and if you are going to ride, please do so with extra caution.
Update to Old La Honda Challenge – in light of the new California Shelter-in-place order, we're extending the deadline for the QOM to December 31, 2020. Riders can post efforts any time that it's legal to ride. @CaleyFretz @cyclingtips
— Mark Slavonia (@slavonia) March 20, 2020