It'll be all-in for all comers on the infamous Mount Vent-Poo. For the second year in a row, the final race of the SBFBS will be marked by the steep ascent of Mount Vent-Poo. The hallowed climb has torn every race to pieces over its storied slopes, and it will serve as center stage for March 7's Beard of Zeus.
As the crowds hum and sip in the microbrew tents, riders will search their own depths to rise to new heights, all in full few of the mass of spectators. The climb starts in a dip in the terrain, and revelers watch as racer churn their way up to eye-level each lap of the circuit. It's rather like climbing back to life, with each lap serving as another chance-or burden- to come back to the land of the living.
At only .2 miles in length, the climbs 90 feet of elevation come as a sort of wall. The gradient hits a leg-cracking 18%, and after an hour of racing, the ascent really starts to sort out the racers. Last year, Sean Kickbush used it as a launching pad to ride clear, while later in the race, riders like Chris and Ryan Kushman and Nate St. Onge used it to cement their gaps and hold on to top ten finishes in the Men's Open.
In 2015, it will be an especially important proving ground in the Women's Open, where Susan Vigland will be looking to shake her rivals loose and ride to a win to cap off her series title. Michele Howard, Beth Collins, and Dawn Cluchey will be looking to stay in touch over the top.
The Men's Master's race could be the most interesting, with Craig Webb looking to extend and protect his one point lead. Dave Hintz and Chris Hansen will be riding to sort out the rest of the podium, with just a few points separating the top five.
The Men's Open may have the top two spots locked up, but the battle for third is on. Rob Goepfrich will try to hold the final spot on the step with a hard charging Ryan Kennedy needing a win and some help in order to overtake Goepfrich. Kennedy, who missed one race in the series, will need to take top points and have Goepfrich finish 8 or more places back. Rob G will be hoping to impress in his final event for Einstein Racing, and the two riders will be more than happy as long as the last podium placing stays in the team. They are safe from further back, with fellow Einsteiner Chris Kushman the next likely candidate to take big points.