Bike contest open to anyone who can handle tough climbs –

By Nathan Scharn, Associate Staff Writer SD Union Tribune

SAN MARCOS — Bicyclists ranging from elite riders wearing aerodynamic helmets to ambitious weekend warriors will sprint up the steep road to Double Peak Park in a race against the clock Saturday morning.

New Version Sports, Inc. will hold the San Elijo Hills Time Trial. The race will begin at 8:01 a.m. at San Elijo Hills Elementary School, loop downhill to Elfin Forest Road, then turn uphill on San Elijo Road and Double Peak Drive for what event organizers said is a more than 1,000-foot elevation gain in three miles.

Thirty-five riders had signed up by early this week.

“These guys are going to go all out,” said Mark McLeod, owner of New Version Sports. “It’s a sprint, but it’s uphill. … The last 200 yards are the steepest.”

Uphill time trials are uncommon in the United States, but many riders consider the races to be a good test of ability, McLeod said.

“Everybody goes fast downhill. Most of the big races are won in the mountains,” said Paul Carlomagno, 55, who signed up early and will be the first to leave the starting line. “The true test of a rider is how fast you can climb. Nobody wants to do a time-trial climb. It’s a lot of work.”

Like many of the competitors, Carlomagno classifies himself as an advanced sport rider — not a professional, but not just a weekend warrior.

“I expect to be passed by about 20 guys,” he said, because expert riders are expected to compete as well. “You get such a rush off doing a race.

“There’s just this synergy that pushes you along into the event because of everybody who’s so into it.” Riders will go one at a time and be monitored with timing chips. Cyclists will be able to focus on their times and plow through intersections without worrying about stop lights, as authorities will direct traffic during the race. The top athletes will finish in fewer than 20 minutes, event sponsors estimated READ MORE via Bike contest open to anyone who can handle tough climbs – Sig


When: 8 a.m. Saturday.

Where: San Elijo Elementary School, finishes at Double Peak Park.

What: Time-trial, recorded with timing chips. Winners will receive bike gear.

Who: The event is open to all riders; organized by New Version Sports.

Sign up: Go to for more information.

Cost: $40 entry fee.

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