Salt Lake City – A full field that includes several stars of road, cyclo cross and mountain biking, a new presenting sponsor, and equal payouts for women and men are just some of the highlights for the second edition of The Beaver County Travel Council “Crusher in the Tushar” presented by DNA Cycling.
The unique, 70-mile dirt/road race featuring more than 10,000 feet of climbing in Southern Utah's Tushar Mountains takes place Saturday, July 14.
Race Director Burke Swindlehurst, who also serves as an assistant director for the Champion System Pro Cycling Team, said he was “humbled” by the quick sellout. All 350 entries for the race were filled more than four months out and the first-year success of event attracted Salt Lake City-based clothing manufacturer DNA Cycling to sign on as a presenting sponsor.
“We will have riders from 16 states and three countries,” Swindlehurst said. “My only disappointment is that Clara Hughes likely won't be back to defend her title due to her preparation for the London Olympics. But we do still have several standouts in our women's field, including 2012 Leadville 100 runner-up Gretchen Reeves and Nicole Duke, who was the revelation of the women's elite field at cyclo cross nationals.”
Tyler Wren will return to defend his men's pro division title against the likes of “Tinker” Juarez, Tim Johnson and Crusher newcomers Ben Sonntage of Germany – winner of the 2010 La Ruta De Los Conquistadores – and Leadville 100 standout and two-time La Ruta De Los Conquistadores runner-up Alex Grant. Wren said his victory last year was one of the highlights of his season.
“The Crusher in the Tushar is a visionary event, and I can't wait to return,” Wren said. “Burke has created an interesting and different type of race showcasing an amazing landscape previously off the radar of the cycling world. Getting to toe the line with top mountain bike pros and my fellow roadies on cross or mountain bikes is a unique and challenging experience.”
Grant said he is still figuring out how to best contend with the course's unique characteristics and format. The finish line is at Utah's newest ski resort, Eagle Point, at an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet.
“I'm excited to try out the Crusher this year after hearing all of the rave reviews from last year's participants,” Grant said. “It's a unique event that requires a mix of skills and a well-thought-out bike choice.”
More details on the event are available on the race's official website, www.tusharcrusher.com.