Having been a big follower and advocate of Hill Climb, as well as an occasional, but rather pitifully inept, competitor, I was surprised to stumble upon the
fact that two different Minnesota riders had won professional Hill Climb championships.
I was never quite sure why finding information about the sport was so difficult. It should be easier than determining information about, for example,
people only known from the scholarly interpretation of ancient scrolls. Luckily, someone had their own personal log of their seasons (which I canít
find anymore or Iíd give full credit), and at the time I looked, there were race reports on the AMA site.
and Jay Sallstrom
are both names I immediately recognized. They were usually among the fastest guys at Kato Cycle Club events, my personal
favorite Hill Climb
site and Motocross track.
Rochester native, Nate Redmann, competed in District 23 from 1996 through 2006. He turned pro in 2007, and made quick progress through the ranks. He
finished 9th in the 700cc class in his rookie year, then 3rd in 2008.
In 2009, he was picked up by Dr. Bobs, racing out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. With the new ride, and Yamaha sponsorship, he won the AMA Pro Hill Climb
national title in the 700cc (now called Xtreme) class.
In 2010, Nate defended his Xtreme class championship, while being increasingly more competitive in the Unlimited (considered to be the premier) class.
Nate defended his Xtreme class championship yet again in 2011, taking 3 firsts and 3 seconds along the way.
2011 was a good year for Minnesotans indeed, as Sallstrom won the Unlimited class, taking three wins and two seconds in route to the championship. Redmann
finished 2nd overall in the class, his best finishes being a win, a second, and a third.
Then after what could only be considered the best year ever for Minnesota Hill Climbers, there was no information about the sport at all. I could find
no information after 2012. Dead Air. It was as if professional Hill Climb no longer existed in the United States. It appears that the professional
classes have been rolled into the big amateur events, but again, you almost need to hire a private investigator to find out.
Not sure what Jay or Nate are up to now (2020), but for that one glorious year, 2011, Minnesota riders ruled the sport.