The legendary ride starts in the beachside town of Pa’ia and climbs 36-miles to the summit of Haleakala Volcano, Hawai’i’s sacred “House of the Sun”, at over 10,000-feet altitude. Nearly 200 riders from around the world rolled across the start line with ambitions of reaching the summit – making it one of the largest cycling events in the State.
At 6:30 AM, the peloton began the day at a relatively easy pace for the initial 7-miles before the first attack was launched by Honolulu’s Eric Lau and Keauhou’s Penn Henderson on a steep section just past the town of Makawao. After breaking away from the field, Lau and Henderson were later joined by the eventual winner Natanuma Takayuk from Japan at mile 13. The three riders would stay in close contact for the remaining 22 grueling miles. In the end, Takayuk put in a final surge up the last steep incline to reach the summit first with a time of 2:54:32. Eric Lau finished second in 2:54:58 with Penn Henderson following in third with a 2:56:25.
“This is an incredible race, definitely one of the most unique challenges I have experienced. It’s certainly difficult…essentially a three hour time-trial because you can never stop pedaling hard, otherwise you would come to an immediate stop – the incline is relentless!”, said Henderson.
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