Beaver, Utah- As Crusher in the Tushar race announcer Bruce Bilodeau said last year, “Welcome to the Crusher! The only race in the world that let’s you choose your weapon with only one guarantee: at some point you’ll be very, very wrong!”
Riders lined up at the start line yesterday for the fourth-annual running of the race, many of them donning cyclocross or mountain bikes, with a bold few risking their road bikes. For the first 11 miles of climbing, mostly done on pavement, the latter seems like a good idea. Over the next 59 miles, however, the ride turns nasty, with dirt fire roads, switch-backs, washboard descents. Crusher in the Tushar provides enough varied terrain that cyclocross riders and mountain bikers each take their turn envying the other rider’s choice.
The descents are technical and the climbs are brutal. The Tushars are among Utah’s tallest mountain ranges, which also features Utah’s highest road elevation of 11,500 feet. The race itself is a 40/60 split of tarmac and gravel sections. It begins in downtown Beaver and finishes at Utah’s newest ski and summer resort, Eagle Point.
Lythgoe Gets Redemption to Take Women’s Race
Utah native Joey Lythgoe, known for her endurance mountain bike racing and silver medalist at the 2014 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships, was able to get the win yesterday, finishing the course in 5:18:18. She spent last year battling two-time Crusher in the Tushar champion Gretchen Reeves, giving up her leading position in the final 10 miles. This year, Lythgoe wasn’t going to relinquish the victory, and won her race over second place Rhae Shaw by a full eight minutes. Mindy Caruso (Scalo Veloce) of New Mexico rounded out the podium with a time of 5:30:49.
Amanda Nauman (SDG Felt), a Southern California cyclocross racer who we interviewed in Issue 24, was one of the younger riders in the women’s field, and captured sixth place with a time of 5:39:45. Meredith Miller and Amanda Carey also had strong top-ten showings yesterday.
Leipheimer Defends, Driscoll Improves
Former Tour de France racer Levi Leipheimer (Levi’s GranFondo) successfully defended his title with a time of 4:16:54, while Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) finished close behind with a time of 4:20:27. Last year, Driscoll had been able to stay with Leipheimer on the punishing climbs only to see his second place status melt away to Barry Wicks and teammate Tyler Wren. This year, Driscoll kept on the gas for the entire race, earning a place on the final podium, with Tyler Wren (Jamis/Hagens Berman) finishing third with a time of 4:28:52. Another ’crosser of note, Jake Wells (Stan’s NoTubes), took seventh place, crossing the line at 4:46:43.
2014 Crusher in the Tushar Men's Race Results
|1||1||LEVI LEIPHEIMER||Levi' GranFondo||40||SANTA ROSA||CA||4:16:54|
|2||12||JAMES DRISCOLL||Raleigh / Clement||27||PARK CITY||UT||4:20:27|
|3||2||TYLER WREN||Jamis/Hagens Berman||30||SALT LAKE CITY||UT||4:28:52|
|4||46||LEROY POPOWSKI||juwi-Slipstream||39||COLORADO SPRINGS||CO||4:29:44|
|6||31||GREG KRAUSE||Groove Subaru||37||LITTLETON||CO||4:39:55|
|7||55||JAKE WELLS||Stans No Tubes||35||AVON||CO||4:46:43|
|8||27||QUINN KEOGH||Harmony Systems/Trek||29||TUCSON||AZ||4:49:34|
|9||8||THOMAS COOKE||Squadra Flying Tigers||46||PARK CITY||UT||4:53:10|
|10||26||HUNTER KEATING||Harmony Systems/Trek||24||GILBERT||AZ||4:55:54|
2014 Crusher in the Tushar Women's Race Results
|1||72||JOEY LYTHGOE||40||PARK CITY||UT||5:18:18|
|3||65||MINDY CARUSO||Scalo Veloce||41||ALBUQUERQUE||NM||5:30:49|
|4||73||MELINDA MCCUTCHEON||Canyon Bicycles||30||SALT LAKE CITY||UT||5:33:06|
|5||71||ANGIE KELL||COTBR/Competitive Cyclist||35||PARK CITY||UT||5:35:22|
|6||75||AMANDA NAUMAN||SDG Felt||25||LAGUNA HILLS||CA||5:39:45|
|8||74||MEREDITH MILLER||Cycle Sport/ Yoga Glo||40||BOULDER||CO||5:59:52|
|10||67||ANNA JO DINGMAN||Team Rockford||33||BOZEMAN||MT||6:07:03|