San Francisco, CA (Sept. 9, 2019) – This weekend, in the city of hills, over 200 bike racers took to the streets to test their lung and leg capacity in an all-out sprint up one of the steepest street segments in San Francisco. An event not for the faint of heart, Red Bull Bay Climb challenged racers in Fixed (single gear) or Open (any two wheel bike) categories to duke it out in the streets, cranking uphill just 0.32 miles. But, with grades reaching 21%, this was a proving ground for those with legs of steel.
Red Bull Bay Climb royalty was out in force, with 2018 men’s open champion, Payson McElveen showing up to defend his crown, along with 2017 women’s fixed champion Kym “Nonstop” Perfetto, who was welcomed back after missing the 2018 race due to injury, with Bay Climb as her comeback moment and return to racing. Also on the docket was two-time Open Women’s champion, Hanna Muegge, who has proved she’s the one to beat every year of Red Bull Bay Climb.
The competition was fierce in the third iteration of the event, a combination of unique course construction, diverse bikes, challenging hills and epic views. Competitors left everything on the course in a true display of grit and determination.
Returning from injury, Kym “Nonstop” Perfetto took 4th place, sharing thoughts on the progression of the contest; “The event has become a staple in San Francisco, people expect it to happen, and what’s cool about that is that people jump in the ring, and every year it gets harder to win it! That’s evidenced, by the fact that most previous winners get dethroned, but the vibe and energy of the event is the same.”
The anomaly to the rule, and standout performance of the day, went to Women’s Open champion, Hanna Muegge of DNA Pro Cycling Team, who took her third consecutive podium win.
The 2019 Red Bull Bay Climb First Place Results:
Women’s Open – Hanna Muegge, CA
Men’s Open – Aria Kiani, CA
Women’s Fixed – Dani Morshead, CA
Men’s Fixed – Chris Tolley, TX
Hanna Muegge took on one of cycling’s best athletes, Ayesha McGowan of Atlanta, GA, who nabbed silver in the finals. Muegge said of the race, and the neck-and-neck battle with McGowan; “Let me tell you, I’ve never been so terrified, of any event, simply because I knew it was either win or absolute failure. You can’t get any better, but you have a lot to lose. So I was really excited to see it back on the calendar, and really have been itching to race for the last two weeks. It’s just phenomenal. I feel fantastic right now. I can’t wait for another round.”
Two time Men’s Open champion, Aria Kiani of Team Illuminate was back with a vengeance after taking first in 2017 and missing the 2018 event due to a conflicting race schedule; “I was so jealous of Payson (McElveen, 2018 champion) last year, I really wanted to be there and give him a run for his money, so this was the ultimate storytelling right here, to get him in the semi finals and then take it home. I feel like I definitely tried my best and it was the best outcome. I’m so happy.”
Adding to the excitement was the inclusion of two unicyclists in the fixed gear category, both competitors providing a unique and inclusive experience for spectators and racers alike. “This event is extremely unique!” said Bay Area local, Women’s Fixed Gear winner, Dani Morshead of Team Twenty20. “I mean, we have people from the fixed gear scene, people from the road scene, you got real life professional cyclists against people who ride their bike in the street everyday for work. You just don’t see that very often, so to bring that all together, as a community of cyclists, it’s such a cool event. I am very excited, my parents and whole family are because I’m from the Bay Area, so to come across the line and see them all with their arms in the air was a really good feeling.”
The sole gold medalist from outside California, Men’s Fixed Gear winner Chris Tolley of Austin Texas and State Bicycle Co. said, “I want to thank Austin, TX because they have hills kind of like this and that’s where I’m from. This event has been awesome, there is honestly no other race I know that’s this short, but so painful, a hill climb like this, especially with the backdrop of San Francisco, it’s truly awesome and an amazing event. I’ll come back to defend next year.”
All twelve podium placers received a cash prize and swag from participating sponsors, with First Place prizing for all Fixed and Open categories including $750, a Specialized Bike Frame, Chrome Industries jersey and pack, and CamelBak products.
Red Bull Bay Climb is produced in partnership with San Francisco-based Mission Crit, an unsanctioned bicycle criterium held on a short, technical circuit in the Mission District of San Francisco, and Red Kite Racing, promoter and event partner for USA Cycling bicycle races and other inspired athletic events. Red Bull thanks James Grady and Mission Crit, Specialized, Chrome Industries, CamelBak, Anchor Brewing, and the City of San Francisco for support and participation.
Participants can get more information and results here.
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Jess Smith | OutsidePR | firstname.lastname@example.org | 415.565.9530