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Tour guys ride for much longer climbs with some sections as steep as Sugarloaf or more and lots of sections that are the same as the flatter sections of Sugarloaf, for miles.
Don't go by "categories". Category ranking can change on any given climb depending on where the climb comes in a stage and what comes before it.
Thats not alot by tour standards. Don't think would even make a ranked climb. Thats a pretty normal sized climb where I live. I frequently encounter climbs at 4-6% for much longer then that. I"m sure the Alps and such are much longer and steeper overall.
Considering going back this fall if IM Lake Placed goes well and can keep motivated to train a couple of more months.
That climb hurts alot!!
If your in Clermont, check out the hill off of Steve'sRd/hwy 27. There is a fairly new sub-division that has Wilma Lake in it. There is a road don't know the name that has a sharper incline than Sugarloaf.
ProTour Riders would consider Sugarloaf a small bump in the road at best. I remember doing it during the Clermont Challenge- and the climb was over before it began- i.e. it's very, very short and I don't remember it being very steep- nothing like some posters are saying 15/17%. If it is that steep- it's probably that steep for only a handful of feet, and nothing sustained. Some of the climbs in this years tour are north of 10 miles long.
Really was I was curious about was how fast these guys climb up these mountains, with the average grade equal to (or greater than) Sugarloaf, and how effing hard I have thought it was. The ease that they seem to climb is incredible.
One of the things that makes Sugarloaf stand out is that people think that Florida is Panama City Beach flat. Being the highest point in peninsular Florida, Sugarloaf Mtn reminds people that Florida isn't so flat.
Earlier today on Sugarloaf Mtn in Clermont FL. http://twitpic.com/2stuy0
That said...hitting this little jewel at 100 miles on IM race day would suck, no doubt.
FYI I rode 3 loops of the course a couple of weeks back and the total climbing was around 4500ft. IIRC that's almost as much as Lake Placid or Cour deAlene. The GFT is not for wussies.