The Board of the Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb announced yesterday via press release that motorcycles will no longer be able compete in “The Race to The Clouds.” The decision comes after motorcycles have been absent from the mountainside event for two years, following the death of Ducati racer Carlin Dunne during the 97th running of the race in 2019.
Motorcycle racing has been a part of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb since the inaugural event in 1916, though never to the same extent as cars. Motorcycles have participated in just 41 of the 99 Pikes Peak hillclimb events held so far. The two-wheeled machines have previously been barred from competing in the event, most recently from 1983 until 1991. That pause was the result of a racer’s death as well, with rider Bill Gross being fatally struck by another competitor.
The race up America’s most famous fourteener is one of the most spectacular motorsport events every year. It will be a shame not to see bikes taking part in the festivities moving forwards, but perhaps it’s time. The threat of danger is always there in motorsports, but safety should be the top priority for organizers. The speeds on the mountain have only continued to rise in recent years, with Dunne himself in the middle of a world-record run when he ultimately passed away. With competitors not showing any signs of slowing down, a proper ban may be the best way to keep these riders safe—even if that means we lose out on some action.
Along with the announcement related to bikes, we also now have an official date for the 100th iteration of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. The race is slated to take place on Sunday, June 26, 2022, with festivities planned all around Colorado Springs.
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