1998 California Triple Crown Stage Race Results

Are you ready to test yourself in Three of the Hardest, Most Grueling Double Centuries on this planet? Are you ready for Two Hundred Miles with tons of Steep Climbing? Then a couple of weeks later, Two Hundred More Miles with more Steep Climbing? Then if you have any strength left, are you ready to tackle the Terrible Two with Two Hundred More Miles, 16,000 Feet of Climbing, White Knuckler Descents, and Temperatures over 100 Degrees?

If so, then we've got a deal for you!!

This is how the Stage Race works: Riders have to complete the Three Most Difficult Doubles in the California Triple Crown: Central Coast, Heart Break, and the Terrible Two. The Total Elapsed Time from each of these grueling Doubles is then added together and the rider with the fastest overall time for all Three Doubles wins the Stage Race.

WARNING: These rides are NOT for the inexperienced or occasional rider.

On the Schedule Page, you will notice that the Difficulty Rating by the "California Triple Crown" for each of these rides is: Extremely High. Do not make any of these rides your first Double Century -- because if you do, you may not want to do another one!! However, if you are in the best shape of your life and you are looking for the ultimate one day tests of your physical and mental fitness, then these rides are for you!!

How hard are these rides? Brutally hard. Hard beyond description!!

In 1998, the Central Coast Double was an extra challenge due to the closure of Highway 1 -- so riders were challenged to climb both sides of the famous Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. This route was 215 Miles and over 14,000 Feet of Climbing!! The Central Coast Double Web Site has an excellent Elevation Chart which graphically shows just how wicked this course really is!! Of the 150 Riders that Registered, 128 Started, 106 Finished and 22 Did Not Finish this First Stage of the Stage Race.

In 1998, the Heartbreak Double was a true challenge of over 12,000 Feet of Climbing with most of it right after Lunch!! Even with a course modified by El Nino weather impacts on the roads, Heartbreak Hill was at about Mile 120 as usual-- a brute of a climb especially in the Heat of the Day. Of the 126 Riders that Registered, 109 Started, 100 Finished and 9 Did Not Finish this Second Stage of the Stage Race.

The Terrible Two has a reputation of being the most difficult Double Century around. Although the route has varied in small ways over the years, its defining features have always been its four big climbs (and the steep, twisting descents that follow): Trinity Grade, the Geysers, Skaggs Springs, and Fort Ross. Numerous smaller but pesky hills add to the overall challenge. Trinity, the Geysers, and Fort Ross are all double-summit climbs, while Skaggs Springs is a long series of climbs and descents. Few gradients on the course exceed 15%, but many climbs stay in the 8-12% range for long distances. The Terrible Two Web Site has an excellent Elevation Chart which graphically shows just how brutal this course with over 16,000 Feet of Climbing really is!! Of the 227 Registered Riders, 195 Started, 169 Finished and 26 Did Not Finish this Third Stage of the Stage Race.

The 1998 California Triple Crown Stage Race yielded a total of over 600 Grueling Miles with over 42,000 Feet of Climbing!!

Results are in from the Central Coast Double held 5/09/98, the Heartbreak Double held 5/30/98, and the Terrible Two held 6/20/98. The report below shows the "LeaderBoard" of those riders who completed all three of these grueling Double Centuries, ranked by Total Overall Time.

Congratulations to Ray Plumhoff of Oakland who came in First Place in the Stage Race, followed by Paul McKenzie in Second Place, and Mike Chester in Third Place!! Just 46 minutes separated Ray and Paul McKenzie going into the Terrible Two -- only 46 minutes after 400+ miles and 26,000+ feet of climbing!! Ray will be awarded the coveted Yellow Jersey -- a special Customized Jersey that Hugh Murphy will build highlighting the California Triple Crown Stage Race.

Congratulations go out to the select few riders who completed these three tough Double Centuries!!

Perhaps the saddest hard-luck story of this year's Stage Race belongs to the tandem team of Rich Boettner and Chuck Doyle. They had been having a great season, tearing up Double courses all over the state, and they were ranked third heading into The Terrible Two final stage. Unfortunately, on the most remote part of the Terrible Two Course with miles from any help, they stripped out the rear hub on their tandem. Sag wagons offered to haul them in, but they refused to quit. When I came upon them, they were walking their tandem down Highway 1. In fact, they rode their tandem down any descent possible, walked it on the climbs including the brutal Fort Ross Climb, and one legged paddled it on the flats for well over 30 miles before they simply ran out of time and had to abandon, just a few miles from the finish.

Terrible Two Ride Organizer Bill Oetinger said it best, "That never-say-die determination of Rich and Chuck is the same fierce fire that burns in the heart of every rider who attempts such a challenging feat. We're proud to be associated with such a group of people."

You don't have to do anything special to sign up for the Stage Race: In 1999, all you have to do is to sign up for and ride your heart out on the Devil Mountain Double, Central Coast Double, and the Terrible Two!! Of course, that's much easier said than done!! Also, if you ride any Stage on a tandem, you must ride all three Stages on a tandem with the same partner.

The California Triple Crown lays down this challenge: be among the select few who are able to finish the Stage Race next year!!

06/29/98          1998 California Triple Crown Stage Race            PAGE 1

                               Home      Central  Heart Terrible Total  Time
Rank        Name        Age    Town       Coast   Break   Two    Time   Back
---- ------------------ --- -----------  -------  ----- -------- -----  ----
   1 PLUMHOFF, RAY       43 OAKLAND       11:49   10:47   11:36  34:12  0:00
   2 MC KENZIE, PAUL     43 RICHMOND      12:35   10:47   12:22  35:44  1:32
   3 CHESTER, MICHAEL    43 OCEANSIDE     13:19   11:38   12:55  37:52  3:40
   4 CASTELLI, EMILIO    42 SEBASTOPOL    13:37   12:00   12:48  38:25  4:13
   5 SCHUMANN, JAY       46 SAN FRANCISCO 13:45   12:10   12:43  38:38  4:26
   6 PERVIER, FENN       44 FAIRFAX       13:34   12:12   13:06  38:52  4:40
   7 PECKHAM, DEAN       40 SACRAMENTO    13:50   12:27   12:43  39:00  4:48
   8 WOO, JONATHON       27 SAN DIMAS     13:45   12:20   13:07  39:12  5:00
   9 HRISTOV, LUBIMOR    39 TUSTIN        13:44   12:35   13:43  40:02  5:50
  10 POP, PETER          48 MALIBU        14:41   11:53   13:41  40:15  6:03
  11 PELZAR, ROBERT      40 WOODSIDE      13:53   13:09   13:23  40:25  6:13
  12 TIKKANEN, WAYNE     43 S. PASADENA   14:09   13:01   13:20  40:30  6:18
  13 ROBERTSON, CRAIG    40 LOS ALTOS     15:12   12:28   13:09  40:49  6:37
  14 NAKAI, DAVID        42 FALLBROOK     14:47   13:11   13:54  41:52  7:40
  15 BRAMWELL, CHUCK     46 IRVINE        14:42   13:11   14:25  42:18  8:06       
  16 HOLLOWAY, KEN       45 SAN JOSE      15:17   13:29   14:12  42:58  8:46
  17 CRAIN, DAN          53 IRVINE        15:45   14:10   14:38  44:33 10:21
  18 MACLEOD, RORY       45 VACAVILLE     15:15   14:14   15:26  44:55 10:43
  19 ERWIN, MIKE         57 MADERA        16:13   13:59   15:26  45:38 11:26
  20 OETINGER, BILL      51 SEBASTOPOL    16:19   14:35   14:52  45:46 11:34
  21 DICKINSON, RICHARD  45 SANTA MONICA  16:30   13:44   15:38  45:52 11:40
  22 COOK, WAYNE         37 SAN LUIS OBIS 16:16   14:55   15:44  46:55 12:43
  23 LEHLE, WALTER       51 SAN FRANCISCO 16:57   14:25   15:41  47:03 12:51
  24 JOE, MICHAEL        31 SAN FRANCISCO 16:48   14:45   16:02  47:35 13:23
  25 HOENIGMAN, JOHN     33 GOLETA        17:31   14:48   15:38  47:57 13:45
  26 BARNETT, JEANIE     41 MARTINEZ      18:24   15:45   15:50  49:59 15:47
  27 BARTHOLIC, KEN      58 IRVINE        18:36   14:53   17:16  50:45 16:33
  28 ROBBINS, JOHN       57 REDONDO BEACH 19:16   14:53   16:42  50:51 16:39
  29 CAMPBELL, KEN       41 COSTA MESA    17:59   15:44   17:28  51:11 16:59    
  30 KOPIT, PAUL         55 SUNLAND       18:41   18:49   17:46  55:16 21:04

P.S.  The guy in 15th place is looking for a new, improved, bigger, faster,
and better engine because that's all the horsepower he can produce with his
current drive train!!  :)  :)

Ray's well deserved plaque

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