Janel Holcomb had a memorable first Crusher in the Tushar experience, winning Saturday’s 69-mile race in impressive fashion. She conquered the harrowing descent and ensuing ascent of the famed Cul d’Crush like a rider with many years of Crusher experience en route to a winning with a time just over five hours.

Janel Holcomb didn't escape the rain, but she did outlast her competitors. 2017 Crusher in the Tushar © C. Fegan-Kim

Janel Holcomb won the Women’s 2017 Crusher in the Tushar in impressive fashion. 2017 Crusher in the Tushar © C. Fegan-Kim

I got the opportunity to chat with Janel about her victory at the 2017 gravel event held in southwest Utah and of course, the prospects of seeing her race some cyclocross in the San Diego area this fall. Tune in for a great interview with Janel, and honestly, after hearing her describe the race, you will probably want to register for it next year.

During my interview, Holcomb talked about the beauty and excitement of the Tushar Mountains. “That first climb is just gorgeous,” she said. “It’s a treed-in and kind of a windy mountain climb. As you get closer and closer to the top, the trees thin out and you find yourself in this high mountain meadow that was absolutely stunning. Wildflowers, purple wildflowers, yellow wildflowers everywhere. Blue skies. And it still wasn’t all that hot yet.”

After the beauty of the summit came the fun part. “I had heard this descent was going to be technical and washboardy and loose with big rocks,” Holcomb said about her pre-race recon. “I was kind of like are we on it yet or are we not? Somebody said to me it’s a descent that as soon as you see it, you understand that there’s some high risk involved. There’s some motivation to not overdo it because it just falls away from you. I was like, we’re starting a little bit of descent, and then it would start to kick up. Where are we? Finally, I got to one turn of the descent and it was like boom, you could see 4,000 feet down into the Town of Junction. It was totally like the world just fell away from you. It was that beautiful kind of like, oh yeah, this is what we have in store for us kind of moment.”

Then came the best part of the day, hitting Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo Speed.  “I just let out this like Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo scream of excitement because it was this amazing thing where oh yeah, this descent is happening and it’s happening now,” said Holcomb. “It was just so cool. It was beautiful and it had that variety too where you were sometimes in the trees, sometimes in these meadows, and it what felt like the desert, the high desert. It was stunning.”


If you missed it, please check out our photo gallery featuring great Crusher pictures from Catherine Fegan-Kim and Christopher See.

Check out the audio file for an archive of all our audio interviews.