Mount Washington Hill Climb - NE

New Hampshire, USA, August 25, 2001

2000 Results    Results    Past winners    Photos

Johnson, Bockel Tops At Mount Washington

By John Alsedek, correspondent

The race billed as 'an extreme sporting event before there were extreme sports', the Audi Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb, was held today in unusually fair - particularly for the mountain known by Native Americans as 'the home of the storm god' - weather conditions. While neither the Men's nor Women's records fell today, both divisions found themselves worthy winners, as Saturn pro Tim Johnson and first-year racer Karen Bockel (Gatorade/Olbas) emerged victorious in the 7.6-mile, 12% average grade event.

In the Men's division, the race was over nearly before it started, as Tim Johnson (Saturn) put into practice lessons learned in last year's race. Says Johnson: "I remembered that, last year, Scottie Weiss was with me right up until the final mile or so, and I was a little nervous about that. So this time, I went hard from the gun, and was pretty much by myself from about a mile in." By himself, indeed: Johnson was never challenged, and ended up finishing with a sterling time of 53:31, nearly four and a half minutes ahead of runner-up Greg Ruckman. The battle for the other podium spots, however, was far more intense: Ruckman and Weiss were together till the final 100 meters or so, when Ruckman managed to pull away for second, just three seconds up on Weiss. Greg Sieniewicz (Ready Pac-Knapps) and Jesse Anthony (Saturn Developmental) rounded out the top five.

The Women's race, on the other hand, was nowhere near as clear-cut. Without defending champion Jeannie Longo and Canadian phenom Genevieve Jeanson in the field, it was unsure as to who would be the next woman to claim the Mount Washington title: 1997 Mount Washington winner Marilyn Ruseckas, recent Mount Evans winner Karen Bockel, pro mountain biker Kerry Barnholt...or maybe even Wheelworks/IF's Aimee Vasse, who led for much of the race.

While not quite as leg-breaking a tempo as that set by Longo or Jeanson last year, Vasse's efforts were enough to whittle the competition down to just one rider: Gatorade/Olbas rider Karen Bockel.

Bockel explains what happened next: "I was a little worried, because it took all I had to stay with her on some of the steep sections. But then, when it flattened out just a little in the final three-quarters of a mile, I attacked and managed to get a gap."

That gap had increased to 34 seconds by the finish, where Bockel crossed the line at 1:09:20. Paula McNamara (VeriZon Wireless) was third, with Barnholt and Ruseckas placing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Editor's note: We previously had Greg Buckman listed as 'unattached', but his team-mate Aaron LeBauer wrote to set the record straight and fill in a bit more about Greg: "Greg Ruckman is a member of the Hancock/MOTO/Cycle Couriers. Our team is based in San Francisco, CA. We are mostly former messengers and dispatchers. (see

"Greg began racing bikes this year on Jan 1st at the San Bruno hill climb, where he had to move up from the back of over 100 riders, as he was a cat 5, to finish 4th, after dragging the winners teamate and another rider to the line. He was an Olympic rower in Sydney, and began racing bicycles this year to see where it would lead him. He moved up to a cat 2 by May, after winning the Tour of Willamete in his 3rd cat 3 race, and has based his season on the Mt Evans and Mt Washington hill climbs."

Results - 7.6 miles/12.25 km


1 Tim Johnson (USA) Saturn                            53.31
2 Greg Ruckman (USA) Hancock/MOTO/Cycle Couriers       4.25
3 Scottie Weiss (USA) Zaxby's                          4.28
4 Greg Sieniewicz (USA) Ready Pac-Knapps
5 Jesse Anthony (USA) Saturn Developmental
1 Karen Bockel (Ger) Gatorade/Olbas         1.09.20
2 Aimee Vasse (USA) Wheelworks/IF              0.34
3 Paula McNamara (USA) VeriZon Wireless        2.43
4 Kerry Barnholt (USA)
5 Marilyn Ruseckas (USA)

Past winners


2000 Tim Johnson (USA)                55.46
1999 Tyler Hamilton (USA))            50.21 (Men's record)
1998 Robert Dapice (USA)              59.19
1997 Tyler Hamilton (USA))            51.56


2000 Jeannie Longo (Fra)              58.14 (Women's record)
1999 Genevieve Jeanson (Can)        1.01.57
1997 Marilyn Ruseckas               1.11.38