The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb canceled its annual motorcycle race for next year, after the death of one racer last month, the third death of a Hill Climb motorcyclist since 2014.
The race’s board of directors decided to scrub the 2020 motorcycle event after Carlin Dunne, a four-time champion of his division in the Hill Climb, “highsided” his Ducati on the race’s final turn June 30, fatally careening off the highway at high speed.
The cancellation breaks a 29-year continuous run for the motorcycle race, Board Chairman Tom Osborne said in a news release. The history of motorcycles on the mountain dates back to 1916.
“That said, the motorcycle program hasn’t been an annual event,” Osborne said in a statement released Friday.
“They have run only 41 of the 97 years we’ve been racing on Pikes Peak. It’s just time to take a hard look at every aspect of the race, including the motorcycle race, and determine whether or not the event may change.”
While the 2020 Hill Climb will not include a motorcycle race, board members will reconvene next year and discuss whether the race could be included again in future years, the board said in a statement.
On the day after the crash, Executive Director Megan Leatham wrote that Dunne’s death was due to a “racing accident and nothing more.” The next day, she said Dunne had “highsided,” but did not elaborate. Leatham declined to comment Friday.
Sandy Way of the El Paso County Coroner’s Office said Dunne’s autopsy report is not yet complete.
Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes Peak America’s Mountain, a city enterprise that operates and maintains the mountain highway and the Summit House, on Friday said through a city spokeswoman that he anticipated the U.S. Forest Service would only investigate further if its representatives had additional questions beyond the brief statement provided by Hill Climb officials. The Forest Service is involved because part of the race is on its land.
Dunne’s mother, Romie Gallardo, has expressed gratitude toward the Hill Climb and other officials.
“I will forever be grateful,” Gallardo said.
“Carlin loved the mountain,” Gallardo continued. “She challenged and enticed him, calling him back again and again. He gave her due respect. He was fully aware of her ability to ‘take.’”
With that in mind, however, Gallardo said she knew that Dunne would not have wanted the motorcycle race to end on the mountain, but instead for his death to serve as a learning experience.
“He would encourage the official accident reconstruction authorities to do what they are trained to do, and for the race officials to implement additional safety precautions required,” she said.