Rider Carl Sorensen Dies in Pikes Peak Practice Run, Six Struck by Lightning

It is with a grieving heart that we must announce the passing of Carl Sorensen, a 39-year-old rider who lost control of his bike in one of the last left-hander turns close to the end of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb route.
Carl Sorensen, 39, dies in the final practice run at the 2015 PPIHC 3 photos
Carl SorensenCarl Sorensen at the 2015 PPIHC
According to local reports, Sorensen lost control of the bike in a turn that was known to have a bump on the racing line, close to the summit. With no guard rails in the area, Carl Sorensen went over a cliff along the three-mile stretch before the finish line, and was killed in the fall.

Centennial, Colorado-based Sorensen was an experienced rider, with more than a decade of racing behind him. Last year he finished the PPIHC 16th overall and on a most honorable 10th position in the highly-competitive Open class. Whereas last year he rode a Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, in 2015, Sorensen was hired to ride a Ducati 848 Superbike.

The 2015 PPIHC was Sorensen's third participation in the Colorado race and was aiming to beat the 10-minute barrier we got close to in his previous runs.

Sorensen is the sixth casualty at Pikes Peak in almost a century of racing

Carl Sorensen unfortunately becomes the sixth racer to lose their life in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in almost a century. Also, he is the third motorcycle rider casualty of the race since its debut.

An even more disturbing detail is represented by the fact that Sorensen is the second rider to die in two consecutive editions, with 54-year-old Bobby Goodin plunging down the slope of the summit right after crossing the finish line. Goodin lost control of his Triumph Daytona as he transitioned from asphalt to the unpaved section after the finish line. His race time was, at that time, the 4th-best in the Middleweight Class.

Carl Sorensen is survived by his wife and son. We extend our condolences to all those affected by Carl's death. His family and the Pikes Peak organizers made a joint statement you can read below:

"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.

Local media reports that  six individuals in the attendance were also injured being struck by lightning hours after Sorensen's crash. Five were treated at the site, while the sixth had to be hospitalised. Follow the Gazette for more photos at the scene.
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