Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2018 Cycle to Saturn Double Century Recap

Views of the descent down the beautiful Guanella Pass (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
On Saturday, June 30, 2018, 18 brave-hearted members of the RMCC accepted the challenge to ride the formidable Cycle to Saturn Double Century. With nearly 20,000 feet of climbing and an average altitude of nearly 9,000 feet, Cycle to Saturn is arguably one the world's most challenging double centuries. Inspired by the professional Saturn Cycling Classic of the early 1990s, the double century event follows a similar course to the original race course used by the professionals. Whereas the Saturn Cycling Classic started in Boulder and initially climbed Coal Creek Canyon, the current Cycle to Saturn double century course first climbs the lighter-trafficked Golden Gate Canyon. From the high point of Golden Gate Canyon, however, the two courses are identical, climbing over the intimidating gravel (and rocky) Oh My God Road, Guanella Pass (which is now completely paved, a huge improvement compared to the '90s when the southern descent was completely unpaved and many pro riders opted to descend the pass on mountain bikes), Kenosha Pass, and Hoosier Pass before dropping into the mountain resort town of Breckenridge. The Cycle to Saturn Double Century then continues on a challenging return route to Golden via the breath-taking, nearly 12,000 foot Loveland Pass before eventually dropping back into Golden.  In spite of the forecast for thunderstorms, the thundershowers never materialized and riders had smooth sailing for the entire day. 18 riders started this year's event and 14 finished. Congratulations to all the riders who attempted this extremely intimidating double century!

Riders at the start of this year's event (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
2018 Cycle to Saturn Double Century Summary:


  • 201 miles, approximately 20,000 feet of climbing
  • 9 categorized climbs:
    • Golden Gate Canyon, 9,356 feet: HC category
    • Black Hawk to Virginia Canyon Summit: Category 2
    • Guanella Pass, 11,670 feet: HC category
    • Kenosha Pass, 9,997 feet, Category 2
    • Red Hill Pass, 9,993 feet, Category 4
    • Hoosier Pass, 11,542 feet, Category 2
    • Swan Mountain Road, Category 5
    • Loveland Pass, 11,991 feet, Category 1
    • Floyd Hill, Category 3
  • 18 pre-registered riders. 18 ride starters, 2 volunteer pre-rides. Of the 18 riders who started, 16 were men, 2 were women.
  • 14 riders successfully completed the course within the 20 hour time limit (77% finishing rate, 10.05 mph avg speed), 4 DNFs.
  • In spite of out-running 3 support vehicles, Caleb Carl posted a blistering time of 12 hours, 34 minutes (16 mph), a new course record and very impressive time for this challenging course! 
  • Corinne Warren, who experienced multiple flat tires during this year's event, overcame adversity to complete the event in 17 hours, 19 minutes (11.6 mph), a new women's course record! 

Thanks to the following individuals for volunteering time to volunteer for this year's event! We cannot run these events in their current timed format without their help:
  • Blaine Bates - support driver
  • Oksana Kovalenko - support driver
  • Erika Van Meter - support driver
  • Ray Rupel - finishing time keeper

Ominous skies never really mounted to rain in spite of the forecast for afternoon thunderstorms. (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Caleb Carl arrives in Golden in record-setting time! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Ryan Franz and Mark Lowe arrive at the checkpoint in Jefferson en route to a solid day on the bike! (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Tom Miller had a solid day on the bike and continues to demonstrate that big men can climb! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Keith Jensen arrives at the summit of Virginia Canyon  before beginning the tricky descent down Oh My God Road (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Rich Rodgers had a stellar Cycle to Saturn! Great ride, Rich! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Harris Rosenthal keeps coming back for more! Great ride, Harris! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Jason Kaminski had a relatively smooth day during this year's event! I think it's because he opted to wear the stellar RMCC pink jersey! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Corinne Warren had multiple flat tires on Oh My God Road, but still posted a PR and new women's course record! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Andy Stockman had a strong ride at this year's event! Great ride, Andy! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Chris Baker shows that he still has the right stuff on the road even with his new affinity for mountain bikes! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Jonathan Fey rolls into Jefferson en route to his first Cycle to Saturn Double Century! Great ride! (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Michael Bass is justifiably very excited to have completed a very difficult double century! Great ride, Michael! (Photo: Ray Rupel)
Adam Kazilisky used all but 10 minutes of the 20 hour time limit to complete Cycle to Saturn! Hey, man...just finish! (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Oksana Kovalenko is all smiles on top of Guanella Pass, knowing that her volunteer pre-ride is complete! (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Erika Van Meter and Corinne Warren on top of Guanella Pass. (Photo: Oksana Kovalenko)
Jason Kaminski, Chris Baker, Rich Rodgers, and Tom Miller in Jefferson.  (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
In spite of getting his butt kicked by the Cycle to Saturn course, Mark manages to flex some muscle on top of Guanella Pass.....before cramping really badly! (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
Andy Stockman looks suave in his Rapha kit as he climbs to the summit of Virginia Canyon. (Photo: Erika Van Meter)
There is simply nothing to look at on the Cycle to Saturn course. The scenery is simply awful! :) (Photo: Erika Van Meter)

By completing the Cycle to Saturn Double Century, the following riders have successfully completed the 2018 Colorado Triple Crown! Congratulations to each of you! 

  • Ryan Franz
  • Oksana Kovalenko
  • Mark Lowe
  • Tom Miller
  • Corinne Warren