Sadler's Alaska Challenge handcycle racers to make lone Anchorage appearance

The 17 handcycle racers in the Sadler's Alaska Challenge will make their only appearance in Anchorage on Monday, the first day of the week-long stage race.

Racing will kick off Monday at 9 a.m. with a time trial from Lake Hood to Kincaid Park.

The racers travel to Fairbanks on Tuesday, their last day off before six races in five days. They head south on the Parks Highway on Wednesday, making stops at Nenana, Denali Park and Talkeetna before wrapping up Sunday with a grueling climb up Hatcher Pass.

On Friday, racers will be tested twice. There's a time trial in Denali Park in the morning and a 28-mile road race from Cantwell to the Denali view north pullout in the afternoon.

A purse of $24,000 is at stake in the event, which is known as the world's longest and toughest handcycle race. Racers will log more than 260 miles.

Two gold medalists from last year's London Paralympics are entered -- Rafal Wilk of Poland, who won a pair of golds, and Walter Ablinger of Austria, who claimed one gold and one silver.

Anchorage racer Larry Coutemarsh is racing for the 26th time and is the lone Alaskan in the field.

There are 14 rookies and several military veterans. One of the veterans is 50-year-old Carlos Moleda of Bluffton, S.C., a former Navy SEAL who in 1989 was shot and paralyzed on the runway of the Panama City airport during the United States invasion to seize Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. Moleda won the 1999 race.

Sadler's Alaska Challenge

Monday, 9 a.m. -- Time trial, Lake Hood to Kincaid Park biathlon range.

Wednesday, 9 a.m. -- Road race, Fairbanks to Nenana

Thursday, 9 a.m. -- Road race, Nenana to Mile 264 pullout

Friday, 9 a.m. -- Time trial, Savage River campground parking lot (Denali Park)

Friday, 1 p.m. -- Road race, Cantwell to Denali view north pullout

Saturday, 9 a.m. -- Road race, Denali view south pullout to Talkeetna

Sunday, 9 a.m. -- Hill climb, Sutton School to Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass

Anchorage Daily News