DANVILLE, CA- Hundreds of cyclists charged up Mount Diablo for two reasons Sunday – to take on one heck of a challenge and to help preserve Mount Diablo. The Mount Diablo Challenge, recently named the “East Bay’s Best Uphill Bike Race”, is 11.2 miles of timed vertical cycling, starting at the Athenian School in Danville and climbing up Southgate Road 3,249 feet to the summit of Mount Diablo.
Both amateur and professional cyclists competed and prizes were awarded for several categories in a ceremony at the summit with food and beverages for all. This year, Nathaniel English, riding for the Expert Tree Service team, came in first at a mere 43 minutes and 56 seconds. This was just 13 seconds shy of the course record he set in 2008.
The Fastest Team award went to Taleo, the Talent Management Company with offices in Dublin. Taleo was the Event Sponsor for this year’s Mount Diablo Challenge and had more than 50 members of the Taleo Cycling Team participate in the Challenge. Also riding was Taleo Chairman and CEO, Mike Gregoire, “We are proud to sponsor the ‘Mount Diablo Challenge’ bike ride this year,” he said. “Recently voted one of the Bay Area's Healthiest Companies by the San Francisco Business Times, Taleo enables employees to live a healthy lifestyle, encourages them to follow their passions, and inspires the team to impact the community they live in by giving back. Every year, Save Mount Diablo’s ‘Mount Diablo Challenge’ brings individuals and communities together to help drive awareness of its land preservation efforts, and we look forward to once again supporting this great cause.”
Riders of all ages participated and competed on many types of non-motorized cycles, including tandems, unicycles and hand powered vehicles tuned up courtesy of Devil Mountain Cyclery in Walnut Creek, Co-event Sponsor of the Mount Diablo Challenge. Mount Diablo State Park was closed to all outside traffic for the duration of the event and cyclists were assisted by State Park escorts during the descent.
All riders that reached the summit in less than 1 hour, no easy feat, received a special complimentary “1 Hour” T-Shirt. Awards were given to top finishers, Nathaniel English, Expert Tree Service Team (43:56), Max Jenkins (44:02), Chris Phipps, Expert Tree Service Team (46:35) for males and Jenny Slawta (53:33), Susannah Breen, Fremont Bank Cycling Team (54:19), Tanya Grossman, Forward Motion Race Club (58:72) for females. Awards were also given to several cyclists who raised funds for Save Mount Diablo’s land preservation programs. All event proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo’s programs to preserve, defend and restore the remaining 80,000 acres on Mount Diablo and its foothills, like the recently announced Marsh Creek – V volcanic dome, for wildlife and people to enjoy.
Who: Save Mount Diablo, non-profit organization in Walnut Creek, CA
What: 30th Mount Diablo Challenge - winners
Where: The ride began at Athenian School in Danville and follows Southgate Road 11.2 miles with 3,249 feet elevation gain to the summit of Mount Diablo.
When: Sunday, October 2, 2011
Why: One of the most challenging uphill climbs with proceeds benefitting Save Mount Diablo’s land preservation programs. Only half of Mount Diablo is preserved. The other half nearly 100,000 acres remains at risk of being lost forever.
How: Results and photos will be available at http://www.savemountdiablo.org/activities_events_chal.html
About Save Mount Diablo
Save Mount Diablo is a non-profit 501(c)(3) conservation organization, which has been preserving lands on and around Mount Diablo and educating the public to the mountain's natural values since 1971. Preserved lands have increased from 6,788 acres in one park to more than 100,000 acres in 40 parks and preserves. Save Mount Diablo continues to preserve, defend and restore the remainder of the mountain for people and wildlife to enjoy. Contact: Save Mount Diablo, telephone: (925) 947-3535, fax: (925) 947-0642, 1901 Olympic Blvd., Suite 320, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; www.SaveMountDiablo.org
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