Races that traverse mountains and century rides with steep climbs make even roadies with colossal thighs nervous. Climbing is all about balance, breathing, pace and your power-to-weight ratio. It isn't for everybody. But for those advanced cyclists who want to ride long stints in low gears, here are seven races sure to test even the strongest riders.
Endue Classic 7,000 Vertical Feet ChallengeMay 13, 2017 — San Mateo, Calif. 1 of 9
The 100-mile option has over 7,000 feet of climbing as you head to the Pacific Ocean and back. Though the views are epic, this race is for hardcore racers only, as the roads are steep and technical, providing plenty of challenges for you and your steed.
Hott Doggett 100July 8, 2017 — St. Mars Hill, N.C. 2 of 9
Advanced climbers will pedal 9,600 feet of Madison County's scenic mountain in this century ride. Don't worry; you get a free T-shirt to wipe your sweat off at the finish line.
Farm to Fork Fondo VermontJuly 16, 2017 — Pittsfield, Vt. 3 of 9
Easily the most challenging of the four Farm to Fork Fondos, this ride features four grueling ascents, endless farmland and gravel roads. The prize: sore quads and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Devil's Slide RideJuly 29, 2017 — Pacifica, Calif. 4 of 9
With an average elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet, this century ride will certainly test your lactic acid tolerance. If you can overcome the pain, you'll see stunning views of California's beautiful San Mateo Coast.
Tour de Big BearAugust 5, 2017 — Big Bear Lake, Calif. 5 of 9
A century ride around one of California's most scenic lakes, Tour de Big Bear offers more than 7,000 feet of climbing.
Sadistic CenturyAugust 19, 2017 — Menomonie, Wis. 6 of 9
Sadistic is not the last name of the race's founder. The race is so aptly named because whoever founded it had to be sadistic to inflict this much pain on the riders.
Nestled in the hills and valleys of Menomonie, Wisconsin, this century ride features more than 30 climbs and a total elevation gain of 8,819 feet.
Mt. Ashland Hill ClimbAugust 27, 2017 — Ashland, Ore. 7 of 9
The climb up Mt. Ashland, a brutal 4,600-feet of elevation gain, rivals some of the toughest climbs even the pro peloton faces. By the end of the race, the throb of your legs won't believe the race was a mere 24 miles.
Giro di San DiegoOctober 22, 2017 — Escondido, Calif. 8 of 9
With nearly 11,000 feet of climbing over the 105-mile racecourse, the Giro di San Diego is no joke. Emulating the Italian races of the same name, you can replicate the experience of a European-style race right in Southern California. Want to bring along friends who aren't quite up to your climbing level? The race offers a plethora of options from short 35-milers to 60- and 66-mile races as well.