Clara Hughes won the pro women's division last year. (©Chris See / www.tusharcrusher.com)
One of the more unique bicycle races around, the "Crusher in the Tushar," is officially a sell-out, according to a news release from event organizer Burke Swindlehurst.
Although defending women's pro champ Clara Hughes (pictured above) won't return to the race that traverses some of Utah's highest mountain ranges, a host of other stars of road, mountain bike and cyclocross will take the start line on July 14. Get the rest of the scoop, via the official release:
Salt Lake City – A sold-out field and a collection of some of the biggest names in professional road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross for the Beaver County Travel Council "Crusher in the Tushar" presented by DNA Cycling have race promoter Burke Swindlehurst calling the second edition "a showdown of the disciplines.”
The July 14 race traverses some of Utah’s highest dirt and paved roads and twice scales the high-alpine Tushar mountain range during 70 miles that include more than 10,000 feet of elevation.
“I couldn’t be happier with the collection and diversity of riders we have lined-up for the race this year,” Swindlehurst said. “My vision from the get-go was to create an event that would bring the dirt, cross and road communities together to test their collective mettle at a single event. The course isn’t suited to any particular style of rider – or bike, for that matter – and I think that makes it the perfect platform to bring these communities together in competition and camaraderie.”
Headlining the men’s pro race is defending champion and recent USA Cycling national road championships King of the Mountain winner Tyler Wren, who participated in the inaugural addition. Also back is cyclocross star Tim Johnson and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Tinker Juarez. New to the Crusher are cross and mountain bike rider Ryan Trebon, cross and road rider Jamey Driscoll, along with endurance mountain biker and two-time La Ruta de los Conquistadores runner-up Alex Grant. Adding further depth are regional standouts Jay Henry of Colorado and Pacific Northwest legend Erik Tonkin of Oregon. Swindlehurst said he also expects retired pro Neil Shirley – who has been on pro road and mountain bike national championship podiums – to also feature in the final results.
Though last year’s women’s champion Clara Hughes will not return to defend her title as she prepares for the Olympics, the Women’s Crusher field still boasts a quality field. Leadville 100 runner-up Gretchen Reeves, 2011 national elite cyclo-cross silver medalist Nicole Duke and Tammy Jacques-Grewal, a perennial podium finisher at mountain bike World Cups and member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team who is staging a comeback to the sport after nearly 10 years in retirement.
Swindlehurst said the possibility remains of more additions to the men’s and women’s pro fields.
“There are still some pending invites which haven’t been confirmed as some riders try to iron-out their racing schedules,” he said. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if I have couple of additional well-known names to throw into the mix as we get closer to race day.”
In addition to the men’s and women’s pro fields, the Crusher in the Tushar also includes six age-graded men’s and women’s categories and a single speed division. More information about the event can be found at www.tusharcrusher.com.