BILLINGS — When the dust settled in the South Hills on Saturday night, 110 different professional riders had attempted to make their way up the nearly 500 feet Bentonite Nightmare.
Originally, 111 riders were registered but one was unable to make the event and withdrew.
And, when the number of professional classes each rider was registered for was totaled, there were 270 entries, said Darrell Devitt, one of the Great American Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb promoters.
All told, there were over 600 attempted rides over two days of action.
That means a lot of heart, desire, determination — and even effort by the hillside catchers — came into play before Logan Mead of Concord, California, was crowned the overall champion when the event concluded late Saturday under the lights at the Billings Motorcycle Club.
"You always give yourself the benefit of the doubt and try to be confident," Mead said of entering the 15-rider championship run-off. "Yes, I knew I could do it, but you never — the competition is so stacked right now — so you never know. You are never like 'I've got this in the bag.' That's never the case. At least not for me, anyways."
Jake Anstett of Port Angeles, Washington, won the side-by-side challenge, 0-700cc exhibition and 701cc open exhibition classes.
Austin Teyler of Billings, a former three-time Great American overall champ, was the 450cc titlist and Logan Cipala of Ellsworth, Wisconsin, claimed the 600cc division. Kirk Mueller of La Valle, Wisconsin, won the 40-plus Pro Masters class.
Devitt shared that the BMC was pleased with the spectators who showed up to cheer on the riders, saying the fans spread out in an effort to practice social distancing during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The campers, there were guys who camped out and put up their awnings and they stayed at their rigs and looked straight up at the hill,” he said. “I think by and large everyone behaved pretty well.”
And, while he didn’t have an official count on the number of fans, the ones Devitt talked to enjoyed the motorsports spectacular. One particularly interested person even went out of their way to make it to the BMC to see what all the commotion was about.
“There was a gentleman on vacation and he’d been in Yellowstone,” Devitt said. “He was from Florida and he read about the event on the web and he stayed the whole weekend he was so thrilled by it.”
The club was happy to have been able to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of what promoters bill as "America's oldest, richest and biggest hill climb."
“All in all, I can’t complain. For the times we are in and everything going on people were respectful and happy to go do something and enjoy themselves and keep their social distance,” co-promoter Shannon Chamberlain said. “They were outdoors and had a good time.”
Following are the final professional results:
King of the Hill: Logan Mead, Concord, Calif., 12.390 seconds.
Side-by-side challenge: Jake Anstett, Port Angeles, Wash.; Joe Shipman, Cottonwood, Calif.; Tyler Egberg, Wellsville, Utah.
40-plus Pro Master: Kirk Mueller, La Valle, Wis.; Dustin Quast, Billings; Brad Cowan, Billings; Jason Geisler, Westhaven, Utah; Craig Spencer, Morgan, Utah.
600cc: Logan Cipala, Ellsworth, Wis.; Corey Erhardt, Billings; Joe Shipman, Cottonwood, Calif.; Jordan Schmidt, Billings; Ryan Gallegos, Casper, Wyo.; Beaumont Berumen, Billings; Kirk Mueller, La Valle, Wis.; Payton Reimers, Billings; Tell Massar, Circle; Carson Holden, Columbus.
450cc: Austin Teyler, Billings; Jake Anstett, Port Angeles, Wash.; Logan Cipala, Ellsworth, Wis.; Tucker Molzahn, Worland, Wyo.; Jordan Schmidt, Billings; Logan Mead, Concord, Calif.; Ryan Gallegos, Casper, Wyo.; Carson Holden, Columbus; Dustin Quast, Billings; Curtis Sorensen, Salt Lake City.
0-700cc exhibition: Jake Anstett, Port Angeles, Wash.; Ryan Gallegos, Casper, Wyo.; Tyler Cardwell, Billings; Corey Erhardt, Billings; Jordan Schmidt, Billings; Austin Teyler, Billings; Logan Mead, Concord, Calif.; Beaumont Berumen, Billings; Tell Massar Circle; Joe Shipman, Cottonwood, Calif.
701cc open exhibition: Jake Anstett, Port Angeles, Wash.; Logan Mead, Concord, Calif.; Logan Cipala, Ellsworth, Wis.; Austin Teyler, Billings; Tyler Cardwell, Billings; Jordan Schmidt, Billings; Devin Johnson, Molt; Craig Spencer, Morgan, Utah; Ryan Gallegos, Casper, Wyo.; Tucker Molzahn, Worland, Wyo.