Rider dies in Pikes Peak crash

Carl Sorensen becomes second fatality in two years

DESPITE its fearsome appearance and reputation the Pikes Peak hillclimb has claimed relatively few lives over the 92 events held so far. But the 93rd has added to the total as Ducati 848 rider Carl Sorensen was tragically killed yesterday during practise for this weekend’s event.

Sorensen, who finished 16th in last year’s event, appears to have lost control near the end of the course, going over a cliff. He becomes the sixth fatality in the nearly 100 year history of the event, and the third motorcyclist to die. He was 39, and leaves a wife and son.

The rest of the day’s practise runs were called off. Sorensen’s death comes a year after 54 year old Bobby Goodin died when he crashed after crossing the finish line during the 92nd running of the event.

A joint statement from the organisers and Sorensen’s family reads:

'June 25, 2015

The collective hearts of the Colorado Springs community and the Board of Directors of The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, share the grief and pain of Carl Sorensen's family, friends and fans over his untimely death.

Throughout the 92 years that this unique race has been conducted on America's Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in triumph, the disappointment of failure and now, the unexpected heartbreak of the loss of a competitor, whose love of the race brought him to Pikes Peak. We mourn the tragic death of Carlton and he will be in all of our hearts this Sunday for the 93rd Race to the Clouds.

He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend with a tremendous sense of humor and a passion for racing.

He left our lives while doing something that he loved, and it is the only thing that has the ability to deal with the reality of life, the acceptance of the competitors of the dangers in the race, and the heart and soul of a great man.

With our deepest condolences,

The Family of Carl Sorensen and Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.'

The Denver Post also reports that as many as six people were struck by lightning on Pikes Peak just hours after Sorensen’s crash, as the area was hit by storms. Five were treated at the scene while a sixth was hospitalised.