Look who showed up as the winner of the grueling Mt. Washington bicycle climb in New Hampshire on Saturday – Tyler Hamilton.
The 34-year-old racer is appealing a two-year suspension from professional cycling for blood doping. His case goes to the UCI on Sept. 6 for a hearing, according to the Tour de France 2005 blog. He was able to compete in the Mt. Washington event because it's independent and unsanctioned.
VeloNews reports that Hamilton was trying to beat Tom Danielson's 2002 record. He was on pace at the halfway point, then:
“But five miles up the 7.6-mile auto road he rode into crosswinds and headwinds gusting up to 40 mph, and wound up finishing in 51:11.”
The race up the auto road gains 4,700 feet at roughly a 12% grade. Danielson's record time was 49 minutes 24 seconds.
The climb and conditions are so tough that the women's winner, Aimee Vasse, was blown off her bike by the winds, but she was able to finish in first.
Most recently a rider for Phonak, Hamilton received the two-year suspension in April after he tested positive for blood doping at the Vuelta d'Espana last September.