Cyclocross veterans Ryan Trebon, Ben Berden and Caroline Mani will test their legs and their Clement gravel tires next weekend at the Crusher in the Tushar.
In only its second year, the race is drawing a stacked field to southern Utah’s Tushar mountains. The 69-mile course features a 50/50 split between pavement and dirt, and has earned a reputation for challenging riders and their equipment.
Earlier this summer, Berden got a taste of how grueling gravel racing can be at the Gravel Metric, a popular 62-mile ride on farm roads around DeKalb, Illinois. Faced with temperatures near 100 and a punishing mixture of energy-sapping gravel and old wagon tracks, Berden finished coated with dust and sweat.
“The Gravel Metric was my first American dirt-road race. It was really hard and I loved it,” said Belgian cyclocrosser Berden. “But there’s a huge amount of climbing in Utah and it’s going to really test my summer training program.”
Trebon will travel to the Utah race immediately following the Mountain Bike National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, this weekend. “I’ve got my cross bike dialed for the Crusher and I’m excited to race the gravel,” said Trebon. “It’s cool that we get ride these type of off-beat events.”
Mani is planning a full US cyclocross season this year. “I’m looking forward to this special race,” said the two-time French National Cyclocross Champion. “I’m in a transition period from World Cup mountain biking to cyclocross season, so it will be a good indication of my fitness.”
Trebon, Berden and Mani will race cyclocross this season on Clement tires and will ride the Crusher using Clement’s new gravel adventure tires. Called the X’Plor series, the line includes the 700x33mm USH tire and the 700x40mm MSO tire. Like other Clement tires, these models are named after airport codes from around the world. USH is the airport code of Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Ushuaia is the southern-most city in the world, and the ultimate destination for adventure bike touring. MSO is the airport code of Missoula, Montana, home of the Adventure Cycling Association and the inspiration for countless cycling journeys.