NAHA Team USA Wins Hillclimb World Trophy Event in France

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“This was the toughest hill that I’ve ever seen anyone climb, and the boys did our country proud,” said North American Hillclimbers Association (NAHA) five-time World Champ Kerry Peterson. At the Hillclimb World Trophy Event in Decazaville, France there is a hill called Le Montee Impossible (French for Impossible Mountain), a very tough 550-foot stretch of mountain.

Robie Peterson at France, photo by Ken Faught
Robie Peterson at France, photo by Ken Faught
Jason Smith, 20, took home the trophy and $12,000 for winning the only true international hillclimb event on the 2006 NAHA calendar. He was one of only four riders who made it over Le Montee Impossible. The speedster from Salt Lake City, Utah stopped the clock with a 21.4 second run. Sixty riders from 12 countries made five attempts each to conquer the mountain.

Frenchman Stephane Pierrel came in second with a time of 25.3 seconds. Indiana’s Jeff Thomas represented Canada in the two day event and placed third with his 26.86 second sprint.

The United States Team won the world title, France was 2nd and Canada was 3rd. Estonia and Sweden came in at 4th and 5th.

The climb began with a tough drag strip at the bottom followed by two lanes of double jumps. The left side puts racers in a bad position for the 15-foot vertical wall just ahead. If racers make it past the double jump and the wall riders face a 150 foot near vertical climb that has a 115-degree transition at the bottom. Over 175 feet of the hill is vertical.

Five riders made up Team USA in France, Travis Witlock, Jason Smith, Robie Peterson, Bret Peterson and Dave Watson. “This is the original extreme sport,” said Robie Peterson, of Team U.S.A. “It’s you against the mountain.”

Le Montee Impossible, photo by Ken Faught
Le Montee Impossible, photo by Ken Faught
Robie Peterson won the Inaugural Stock Class in a pre-race event on Saturday. Everyone has the same stock class bike in the Stock event,” said Peterson. “It’s more about driving skills because no one is going to come close to going over that narly hill on a stock bike.”

The Peterson brothers use K&N Engineering Air Filters on their 700 cc KTM Bikes. "You need all the air you can get to build up that much horsepower," said Robie Peterson. "K&N filters work the best. We get more air and our motors breathe."

NAHA points standings are not part of the Hillclimb World Trophy Event. Currently Jason Smith is in 3rd, Robie Peterson is in 4th and Bret Peterson is in 5th place. The next race is at New Plymouth, Idaho on July 15th and 16th.

Follow Robie Peterson's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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