SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Registration for the fifth annual Beaver County Travel “Crusher in the Tushar” – a race that event director Burke Swindlehurst describes as a “mixed-surface smorgasbord” – opened Wednesday evening.
The “Crusher” has quickly gained notoriety within both road and dirt circles for testing cyclists of all abilities on an ultra-challenging course. The 70-mile race on Saturday, July 11, traverses both paved and dirt fire roads on its way from the small southern Utah town of Beaver to the Eagle Point ski area. Making it all the more difficult are long climbs gaining more than 10,000 feet of elevation at altitudes nearing 11,000 feet.
The past four editions of the race have attracted top names from professional road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross, including six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, 2-time USPRO King of the Mountain Tyler Wren, mountain bike luminaries such as Dave Wiens and Tinker Juarez and decorated U.S. cyclo-cross riders Jamey Driscoll and 4-time U.S. National Champion, Jonathan Page.
In addition to men and women’s pro/open categories that compete for an equal and combined $7,5000 cash purse, the event also features 10 age-graded categories and a single speed category that compete for over $40,000 in sponsor prizes. The event is capped at 600 participants. Swindlehurst said the spots are going fast and as of Friday morning the event was already more than ¾’s full.
“I can hardly believe the Crusher is celebrating its fifth edition already,” Swindlehurst said. “I still find myself amazed when I see all the riders on the start line who have traveled from all over the country to my little hometown. It’s pretty dang cool.”
Co-sponsored by Salt Lake City’s DNA Cycling, the Crusher in the Tushar also recently welcomed ProForm Fitness as the event’s King and Queen of the Mountain sponsor, which sits atop the notorious graveled climb racers have dubbed the “Col ‘d Crush.”
Swindlehurst said he anticipates some new faces on the men’s pro podium this year following the recent retirement announcement of perennial podium man and two-time champion, Tyler Wren. “Tyler has practically become the event mascot over the past 4 years. We’re going to miss him.”
On the women’s side, Park City’s Joey Lythgoe is expected to return in defense of her title in the Women’s pro category. “It’s been fun to watch Joey methodically make her way up the Crusher podium over the last 3 years. She’s really developed into one of the best female endurance riders in the country and she’ll be tough to beat,” said Swindlehurst.
Additional information can be found at the event’s website www.tusharcrusher.com.