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Field Wide Open for Annual Mount Washington Bike Race

[UGCNECN-CJ-scenic outdoor/nature photos]Mount Washington
Mark Lotterhand

One thing is for certain about this year's bicycle race up the highest peak in the northeastern United States: the top men's finisher will be new.

Last year's finisher in New Hampshire's Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, Phil Gaimon, hasn't entered, nor have any of last year's other top seven finishers. Another former champion who was hoping to return to Saturday's race has been hindered by injuries.

In the women's race, Aimee Vasse is preparing to defend her title as reigning champion in the hill climb. The 40-year-old Vasse, of Longmount, Colorado, won the race from 2004 to 2006. After a long absence, she returned last year and won in her fastest time yet.

The hill climb is a 7.6-mile ascent to the summit, which is at 6,288 feet.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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