Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 Colorado Triple Crown Finishers


Congratulations to the following riders for completing the 2014 Colorado Triple Crown, Colorado's most difficult endurance road cycling series!

  1. Diane Benoit, Morrison, CO, 3rd Triple Crown
  2. Tim Cannon, Telluride, CO, 1st Triple Crown 
  3. Ryan Franz, Boulder, CO, 2nd Triple Crown
  4. Craig Howell, Littleton, CO, 3rd Triple Crown
  5. Mark Lowe, Arvada, CO, 5th Triple Crown 
  6. Tom Miller, Denver, CO, 4th Triple Crown
  7. Eric Nelsen, Evergreen, CO, 3rd Triple Crown
  8. David Nelson, Greenwood Village, CO, 1st Triple Crown
  9. Steven Philips, Boulder, CO, 1st Triple Crown
  10. Steve Rudolph, Westminster, CO, 3rd Triple Crown
  11. Ray Rupel, Centennial, CO, 2nd Triple Crown
  12. Steve Schroer, Littleton, CO, 2nd Triple Crown
  13. Michael Turek, Longmont, CO, 1st Triple Crown 
  14. Corinne Warren, Monument, CO, 1st Triple Crown
  15. Walter Zitz, Lakewood, CO, 1st Triple Crown 

Congratulations to the following riders who completed all four Triple Crown events offered by the RMCC in 2014:

  1. Mark Lowe
  2. Tom Miller
  3. Eric Nelsen
  4. Steve Rudolph

More to come soon on the 2015 Colorado Triple Crown!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Houston...We Have Lift-Off!! The Inaugural Cycle to Saturn Recap

RMCCers tackle a new challenge: the Cycle to Saturn Double Century,
a reincarnation (of sorts) of the Saturn Cycling Classic (2000 - 2002),
one of the most brutal road races ever contested in the U.S. 

“It’s the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul…we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.”
– Neil Armstrong


August 10, 2002
Many of America’s most decorated bicycle racers--names including the likes of Jonathan Vaughters, Scott Moninger, and Chris Horner--started the third (and final) Saturn Cycling Classic (2001 – 2002). The Saturn Cycling Classic was one of the most brutal road races every contested on U.S. soil…140 miles from Boulder, CO to the mountain resort town of Breckenridge, CO. The route included seven mountain passes, climbing over 14,000 feet, and boasting an average altitude of over 9.000 feet! The route included some of the nastiest roads every ridden by a professional peloton in the U.S.!  Virginia Canyon Road (i.e., Oh My God Road) was an intimidating combination of rough pavement, gravel, dirt…and no guardrails! The climb over the Hors Categorie, Guanella Pass, was an even more daunting task. The road over Guanella Pass consisted of extremely rough pavement, which deteriorated rapidly near the summit of climb (11,671 feet) into a nasty mixture of dirt, gravel, rocks, and washboard. Lead riders would often switch to mountain bikes at the summit of the pass to conserve energy and minimize the risk of a mechanical mishap. At the end of the race, only 20 of the 150 racers who started would even finish! For many reasons, this was the last time this race was ever contested. And the race vanished into American cycling folklore…R.I.P…

Guanella Pass, flanked by Mt. Bierstadt to the east, is the first high alpine climb
of the "Inner Ring of Saturn."

-All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.”
– Sally Ride

Fast-forward to 2014…
On August, 9, 2014, members of the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC) "toed the line" for the Cycle to Saturn Double Century, resurrecting the major portions of the Saturn Cycling Classic from over a decade ago. Granted, much has changed since 2002. First, for logistical reasons, the start location was moved from Boulder to Golden. Second, participants ascended Golden Gate Canyon—not the highly populated Coal Creek Canyon—as the first major climb of the day. However, the crux of the Saturn Cycling Classic course, including the bumpy dirt and gravel descents down Virginia Canyon (Oh My God Road) and Guanella Pass—remained intact. Event organizer, Mark Lowe, explained, “We really wanted to use Coal Creek Canyon as the first major climb. But we decided that Golden Gate Canyon was a much safer canyon to use because it has much less residential traffic and it sustained only minimal damage during last September’s Front Range floods.” Mark continued, “the Golden start location also made much more sense logistically for creating a double century event. Starting and ending in Boulder would have meant a much longer and more challenging day…not a realistic expectation considering the current course already has over 20,000 feet of climbing!” In spite of the intimidating dirt and gravel sections, the roads are in much better shape than when the professionals last attempted this route in 2002. The northern half of Guanella Pass, in particular, is much improved after the Federal Highway Administration completed a massive paving project from Georgetown to the summit of the pass in 2012.


Views from the spectacular Loveland Pass (on a sunnier day)!


“Failure is not an option!”   Gene Kranz

For many Cycle to Saturn participants, this was their final opportunity to complete the 2014 Colorado Triple Crown. Riders who had aspirations of completing the Triple Crown, Colorado’s most difficult endurance road series, had to complete three of the four RMCC-sponsored double century events to successfully complete this year's series. Unfortunately, gusty winds and an unusually late winter storm thwarted many riders attempts at completing the Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic in June. And to make matters even more challenging, the RMCC Board of Directors cancelled the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop after the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) closed US-36 from Lyons to Estes Park--an essential corridor of the Grand Loop--to bicycle traffic for the remainder of 2014 for flood-related road repairs. So for many riders, failure was not an option. Many participants had to complete the intimidating Cycle to Saturn course—a route that only professional racers had ever attempted—to successfully complete this season’s Colorado Triple Crown.  

Views for Virginia Canyon back toward Central City

18 glutton-for-punishment RMCCers "prepared for lift-off" for this year’s Cycle to Saturn Double Century. This year’s event also welcomed a small contingency of riders from Missouri, who attempted to tackle the debilitating high alpine climbs of the Cycle to Saturn course and their first Colorado Triple Crown event. The mission at hand was daunting:
  • 201.7 miles, 20,000+ feet of climbing!
  • An average altitude of over 9,000 feet. The average altitude of “Inner Ring of Saturn” (i.e., Georgetown-to-Georgetown), including Guanella Pass, Kenosha Pass, Red Hill Pass, Hoosier Pass, and Loveland Pass is just below 10,000 feet!
  • 9 categorized climbs:
    • Golden Gate Canyon. Consisting of three shorter climbs, Golden Gate Canyon is a Hors Category climb that ascends steeply into the foothills to the west of Golden, climbing 4,100 feet in 18 miles. 
    • Black Hawk to Virginia Canyon Summit. The five-mile grind out of the gambling communities of Black Hawk and Central city is a Category 2 climb, climbing nearly 1,420 feet in five miles, punishing participants with sustained grades of 10-12%, some of the steepest climbing of the day.
    • Guanella Pass. Climbing steeply out of the Victorian mining town of Georgetown, Guanella Pass Road is a daunting Hors Category Climb, gaining 3,200 feet in 11 miles.  Flanked to the east by Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans, two of Colorado's most accessible 14,000 foot peaks, Guanella Pass crests well above timberline. 
    • Kenosha Pass: Kenosha Pass is a Category 2 climb that ascends gradually along US-285 from Grant, gaining 1,300 feet in seven miles. Many riders find this climb to be one of the most challenging of the day, especially since the traffic along US-285 can be a bit unnerving! 
    • Red Hill Pass: A Category 4 climb, Red Hill Pass doesn't appear to be more than a "bump" on the elevation profile, but this little "bump" can feel debilitating to riders who already have 12,000 feet of climbing in their fatigued legs for the day. 
    • Hoosier Pass: Climbing gently out of Alma, Hoosier Pass is a Category 2 climb that gains 1,200 feet in six miles before making the twisty plunge into Breckenridge, the finishing point of the original Saturn Cycling Classic.
    • Swan Mountain Road: This short climb skirts the eastern edge of Lake Dillon, connecting Breckenridge to Loveland Pass Road and gaining less than 500 feet along the way.
    • Loveland Pass. One of Colorado's most spectacular mountain passes, Loveland Pass Road is a Category 1 climb that gains 2,500 feet in 8.6 miles from the Keystone Resort, offering stunning views of high alpine peaks along the Continental Divide. 
    • Floyd Hill: A Category 3 climb, Floyd Hill parallels I-70 to the east of Idaho Springs, punishing riders with 8% grades and 900 feet of additional climbing in 1.9 miles. 
  • 2 long, bumpy descents on packed dirt and gravel roads:
    • Virginia Canyon Road (Oh My God Road) to Idaho Springs, 7 miles
    • Geneva Road: Guanella Pass Summit to Grant, 10 miles (nearly 6 miles longer than expected as, unbeknownst to RMCCers, CDOT had started the final stages of paving Guanella Pass from Grant to the summit of the pass). Fortunately, none of this year's participants experienced any major delays. Guanella Pass will likely be completely paved from Georgetown to Grant by sometime early in 2015.
  • Stunning high alpine mountain scenery, easily rivaling the Colorado Death Ride and Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop as the state's most spectacular double century course. 

Looking up Oh My God Road, the first of two difficult rough dirt and gravel sections
on the Cycle to Saturn course.

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."  
–Neil Armstrong

At the conclusion of this year's event, 11 of 19 participants successfully completed this year's Cycle to Saturn Double Century within the 19.5 hours time limit. All participants, including the speediest of riders, approached this new course with a great deal of trepidation. The long downhill packed dirt sections descents of Virginia Canyon and Guanella Pass, the intimidating high-alpine "Inner ring of Saturn," and the potential for nasty monsoon thunderstorms wore on the psyche of all Cycle to Saturn participants! Many participants, including the brave-hearted riders from Missouri, found the persistent exposure to high altitude debilitating and had to abandon en route to Breckenridge. And as with the previous three Triple Crown events of 2014, Mother Nature had her way with this year’s participants, sprinkling riders with thundershowers, some of them quite heavy at times, for nearly 75 miles from Fairplay back to Idaho Springs. Frigid temperatures on top of the stormy Loveland Pass nearly derailed other riders attempts at completing the event.  Many participants were hypothermic after making the long, chilly, and wet plunge from the summit of Loveland Pass back to Georgetown. Many riders had to take refuge in support vehicles to warm up before completing final 40 miles of the event. In the end, 11 of 19 riders proved that it is possible to Cycle to Saturn (and back) in a single day and resurrect one of Colorado's greatest race courses from cycling folklore! Mission accomplished!

Event Summary:
  • 22 preregistered riders
  • 18 ride starters, 3 withdrawals, 1 no show. Of the riders who started on "race day," 16 were men, 2 were women.
  • 11 official finishers (61% finishing rate), completing the course within the 19.5 hour time limit, 7 DNFs.
  • Congratulations to Eric Nelsen and Mark Lowe, who posted the fastest time for the day of 13:55 (14.49 mph). 
  • Congratulations to Diane Benoit, our speediest female competitor, who completed the course in 17:32 (11.50 mph).

Special thanks to this year's event volunteers:
  1. RMCC club president, Charlie Henderson, who sacrificed another long day to provide event support. 
  2. Craig Howell, who sacrificed over 21 consecutive hours to provide support for this year's event!
  3. Mike Turek, who helped support riders in Breckenridge.

Brief Results (Complete results with splits will be posted on the new RMCC website later this year:


Name Age Total Time Avg. Speed (mph)
Nelsen, Eric 42 13:55 14.49
Lowe, Mark 40 13:55 14.49
Rudolph, Steve 54 14:30 13.91
Franz, Ryan 36 14:32 13.88
Philips, Steven 47 15:24 13.1
Miller, Tom 45 15:45 12.81
Benoit, Diane 56 17:32 11.5
Rupel, Ray 59 18:25 10.95
Schroer, Steve 46 18:42 10.79
Barnes, Graham 43 18:50 10.71
Warren, Corinne 46 19:25 10.39
Turner, Jason 39 DNF
Dougan, Dan 38 DNF
Jackson, Jim 43 DNF
Perdue, Dave 48 DNF
Schrock, Josh 31 DNF
Shannon, Kelly 53 DNF
Miller, Tim  44 DNF
Eckenroth, Jason 37 DNS

Congratulations to all of this year's finishers! 

Long-live the Saturn Cycling Classic! 

Mark Lowe and Eric Nelsen at the conclusion of the ride. Mark, who was glad to have survived unscathed after a front tire blowout while climbing Kenosha Pass, was eventually able to catch up with Eric on Loveland Pass while Eric took shelter at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort during a thunderstorm. 

Happy to have survived the mission to Cycle to Saturn,
Steve Rudolph is all smiles at the conclusion of the ride.
Ryan Franz at the conclusion of the event. Ryan unfortunately rode through the dirt sections of Guanella Pass Road shortly after a water truck had passed by, turning the road (as well as Ryan and his bike) into muddy mess! 
Steven Philips, refueling at the control point in Breckenridge, had another excellent day on the bike. Steven was able to complete the ride and still muster enough energy to meet his wife for an anniversary dinner! Impressive!
A natural climber, Triple Crown veteran, Tom Miller,
was wondering why the Cycle to Saturn course
didn't have even more high alpine climbs!
(Remember: I've got the keys to this car!" :) 
Diane Benoit completes her third Triple Crown by completing Cycle to Saturn. Congratulations, Diane!
Ray Rupel's morning got off to an ominous start after he crashed during the first descent of Golden Gate Canyon. Ray amazingly was able to get back on his bike and complete this challenging ride with bruised ribs. Congratulations, Ray, on completing your second Triple Crown!
Not fully recovered from the High Country 1200 km in July, Corinne Warren persevered to complete the Cycle to Saturn Double Century and her first Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations, Corinne, on a stellar season!
(FYI: Corinne bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie...just sayin'!)

Jason Turner and Steve Shroer in Breckenridge, a bit chilled
after the cool, wet descent down Hoosier Pass...
and preparing for the even chillier ride over Loveland Pass!
RMCC president, Charlie Henderson, and Graham Barnes at the Breckenridge checkpoint.



With the conclusion of the Cycle to Saturn Double Century, the following riders have successfully completed the 2014 Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations to all of you!

  • Diane Benoit, 3rd Triple Crown
  • Ryan Franz, 2nd Triple Crown
  • Steven Philips, 1st Triple Crown
  • Ray Rupel, 2nd Triple Crown
  • Steve Schroer, 2nd Triple Crown
  • Corinne Warren, 1st Triple Crown


The conclusion of the inaugural Cycle to Saturn Double Century marks the conclusion of the 2014 Colorado Triple Crown. This season—our sixth Triple Crown—has indeed been one of the most challenging weather-wise! With wind and nasty winter weather thwarting many riders attempt to complete Denver-to-Aspen and with the unfortunate cancellation of the Grand Loop, this year’s repertoire of events left riders who had aspirations of completing this year’s Triple Crown with few options, except to complete some of the most difficult double centuries in the nation, including the Colorado Death Ride, the Cripple Creek Crippler, and Cycle to Saturn Double Century. So “hats off” to all of this year’s Colorado Triple Crown finishers for persevering through a difficult season!

We’ll see you in 2015!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taming the Crippler, Well....Sorta! 2014 Event Recap

Spectacular views of the Cathedral Spires from SW Platte River Road
with scattered thunderstorms in the vicinity. SW Platter River Road is one
of Jefferson County's best kept cycling secrets!

Seventeen brave-hearted RMCCers "toed the line" for this year's EPIC Cripple Creek Crippler. The "Crippler" is a daunting double century: 208 miles and LOTS of climbing. The exact amount of vertical gain is actually unknown, but the amount of climbing is estimated to be between 19,000 and 20,000 feet. And many of the climbs are quite steep! The "Crippler" is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the nation's most formidable double centuries. Event director, Mark Lowe, explained, "The Crippler is a bit unusual for Colorado double centuries because it doesn't include any of the high-alpine climbs for which Colorado cycling is best known. In fact, the highest elevation of the Crippler is a bit over 10,000 feet at the course's high point just to the east of Cripple Creek. The course is very ‘California-esque!’ The steep coastal-like climbs just keep coming at you. And the last 42 miles of this ride are as difficult of an ending to a double century as you'll find anywhere in this nation!" 

Telluride local, Tim Cannon, who completed his first “Crippler” commented at the conclusion of the ride, "This [event] was waaaay harder than the Colorado Death Ride! Who created this course anyway?!? I need to have a word or two with that individual!" (Fortunately, Colorado Triple Crown veteran, Tom Miller, was there to keep the peace and keep Tim from attacking the event coordinator and course designer! :)

Scenic rock formations to the west of Cripple Creek
Cool, but comfortable temperatures greeted riders at the start of the third annual Cripple Creek Crippler. By the end of the day, all of this year’s participants would experience the full gamut of Colorado weather, including extreme temperature swings and some degree of “wet,” from sprinkled on to completely soaked, depending on when they finished. As the ride commenced, the climbing began immediately, foreshadowing the difficult task at hand: taming the Crippler. Early in the pre-dawn hours, participants wound their way through the foothills to the west of Chatfield Reservoir, getting a bit of navigational aid at key turns early during the ride from event coordinator, Mark Lowe. This action apparently saved several participants from doing some extra work in those early pre-dawn hours!

By the time participants had reached the first checkpoint in Conifer, after 4,500 feet of steep climbing in less than 30 miles, temperatures had dropped precipitously. Cold pockets of air in the mountain valleys were nearly 20 degrees colder than at the ride start, causing many riders to search for their cool-weather riding gear. After clearing Conifer, riders traveled west along US-285, a route that is all-too-familiar to Denver-to-Aspen veterans. At Pine Junction, participants turned south, making the blazing descent down Deckers Road, followed by a steep four-mile climb out of Buffalo Creek until they reached the second checkpoint in the hamlet of Deckers. The lead group of Ryan Franz, Steven Phillips, and Walter Zitz set a brisk pace to Deckers, inadvertently missing the first checkpoint in Conifer.

Serene pastoral vallies line Deckers Road near Pine, CO

After clearing the Deckers checkpoint, the trio began the slow uphill grind toward Woodland Park with Colorado Triple Crown veteran, Eric Nelsen, hot on their heals. As the riders climbed out of Deckers, temperatures warmed as the sun rose in a relatively cloudless sky. The climb out of Deckers toward Divide is deceiving, as it is low-grade but long and often plagued by headwinds. After thirty miles and over 3,000 additional feet of climbing, riders pulled into the support point in Divide, where they were greeted by RMCC volunteer, Corinne Warren. Corinne fortified the riders with bananas and homemade blueberry muffins, a much-appreciated gesture by this year’s riders, who had already climbed well over 10,000 feet for the day. Ryan, Steven, and Walter, followed in due time by the rest of the riders, began the descent down the beautiful Twin Rocks Road toward the Fossil Beds National Monument.

As the riders reached the Evergreen Station support point about seven miles to the northwest of Cripple Creek, temperatures continued to warm. And as temperatures rose, so did the pitch of the roads, causing the speed of the lead trio and the riders who followed to slow to a crippled pace! As the morning progressed, the temperatures eventually reached the point of becoming uncomfortable. Heat generated from the mid-morning sun radiated off of the iron-clad red rocks lining the steep climbs to Cripple Creek. This was a clear recipe for suffering! As riders reached the checkpoint at Cripple Creek, they scrambled to rehydrate with water and Gatorade after completing 13,000 feet of climbing in their weary legs. The checkpoint at Cripple Creek claimed the first Crippler casualty as one rider was forced to retire due to knee pain.

Throughout the day, riders are reminded constantly of the 2002 Hayman wildfire
that charred thousands of acres of forest around Deckers. 

Fortunately, the uncomfortably warm temperatures didn't last long, as the predicted afternoon monsoon storms began to develop to the west of Cripple Creek, shielding riders from the relentless sun. As participants continued to trickle into Cripple Creek, the skies became increasingly ominous as the once sun-filled morning skies succumbed to a constant barrage of afternoon thunderstorms, which battered the participants as they began the difficult 92-mile journey back to Ken Caryl!

After clearing the course’s high point (approx. elev.10,300 feet), participants embraced the long descent back through Divide and Woodland Park, and eventually back to Deckers, providing a welcome respite from climbing for all. Additionally, the bit of rain and the cloudy skies seemed to refresh nearly everyone. The group of now four leaders flew through the fire-marred landscape and swooped into Deckers. Just a brief stop to top off water bottles before tackling the most formidable climbing of the day…Deckers Road and Foxton Canyon. Not long after, riders in groups of twos and threes trickled through Deckers and started the last series of climbs. And with the climbing came more rain. A sprinkling at first, but later a torrent.

Thundershowers provide welcome relief to riders near Foxton.

Fourty-two more miles of steep grades to go, the work at hand was tempered by the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Areas that had been scorched by wildfires more than a decade ago have filled in with wildflowers, native grasses, and saplings. Unique rock formations dotted both sides of the road, and at the crest, panoramic views helped riders forget the pain. Once through Buffalo Creek and before the final push, the course traces the sonorous Platte River, cut through a deep valley lined with a variety of pines and spruces – the prettiest part of the whole course!

After completing the final climb up Foxton Canyon and the steep Broken Arrow Road to Pleasant Park, riders made the thrilling descent down Deer Creek Canyon back to Littleton. At the finish in Ken Caryl, the first to arrive were Steven and Walter, in record-setting time. Triple Crown veterans, Eric and Ryan, finished soon after. The other riders out on the course were experiencing typical Colorado afternoon thunderstorms, and getting wetter by the minute. As riders reached the finish in varying states of hypothermia from the chilling rains, several new Triple Crown finishers were minted, including two of the “trois lanteren rouge”, David Nelson and Mike Turek, who were accompanied by Jason Turner, redeeming himself for his failed 2013 attempt at the Crippler.

Congratulations to all of this year’s riders who tamed the Cripple Creek Crippler…well, sorta!!


This year's event, like the other Colorado Triple Crown events for 2014, was ridden in remembrance of RMCC member, Mark Stanton, who passed away last September from a cardiac arrhythmia. Mark completed his first and only Cripple Creek Crippler and Colorado Triple Crown in 2013. Mark's day was marred by mechanical problems, including numerous flat tires during the first 30 miles of the ride. Facing adversity, Mark forged ahead, completing the course without any assistance from the RMCC support vehicles, successfully finishing within the 18.5 hour time limit...a true testament to his character!

Views of Cripple Creek, CO during this year's pre-ride.
2014 Cripple Creek Crippler Event Summary

Course:
  • 208 miles, approximately 19,500 feet of climbing (perhaps more?)
  • Categorized climbs:
    • HC: none
    • Cat. 1: none
    • Cat. 2: Deer Creek Canyon, Brook Forest to Black Mountain, Buffalo Creek climb, County Rd 126 (out of Deckers), Platte River to High Grade
    • Cat. 3: many
    • Cat. 4: many
Participants:
  • 21 preregistered riders (our largest number of preregistered riders ever!)
  • 17 ride starters, 2 early withdrawals, 1 late withdrawal, 1 no show, 1 pre-ride. Of the riders who started on "race day," 16  men, 1 (very ballsy) woman
  • 15 official finishers (88% finishing rate), completing the course within the 18.5 hour time limit, 2 DNFs.
  • Congratulations to Steven Philips and Walter Zitz, who completed the extremely challenging course in 12:43 (16.35 mph), establishing a new course record! 
  • Congratulations to Diane Benoit, our lone female competitor, who completed the course in 15:51 (13.12 mph). This was Diane's second Cripple Creek Crippler.

Special thanks to this year's event volunteers:
  1. Corinne Warren. For those of you who didn't attend this year's event, Corinne did an amazing job keeping participants well-hydrated and well-nourished with her homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and blue berry muffins! 
  2. Dennis Howell. Dennis always provides support for riders on the course when it is needed! Thanks again, Dennis! 
  3. Mark Lowe, driving the primary support vehicle in place of RMCC president, Charlie Henderson.
  4. Riders Jason Turner and Mike Coughlin, whose personal support vehicles provides support to riders along the course.
Brief Results (Complete results with splits will be posted on the new RMCC website later this year:

Name Age City, State Total Time
Zitz, Walter 28 Lakewood, CO 12:43
Philips, Steven 47 Boulder, CO 12:43
Franz, Ryan 36 Boulder, CO 12:50
Nelsen, Eric 42 Evergreen, CO 12:51
Rudolph, Steve 54 Westminster, CO 13:39
Coughlin, Mike 40 Ontario, CAN 13:39
Cannon, Tim 51 Telluride, CO 14:00
Miller, Tom 45 Denver, CO 14:17
Howell, Craig 36 Littleton, CO 15:40
Benoit, Diane 56 Morrison, CO 15:51
Schroer, Steve 46 Littleton, CO 16:00
Nelson, David 60 Greenwood Village, CO 16:44
Turek, Michael 47 Longmont, CO 16:44
Turner, Jason 39 Monument, CO  16:44
Shannon, Kelly 53 Denver, CO DNF
Griffith, Scott 40 Albuqerque, NM DNF
Miller, Tim  44 Castle Rock, CO DNS
Lowe, Mark* 40 Arvada, CO 13:55

*Pre-rode the course on 7/24/14 in order to provide support for this year's event.


Walter Zitz and Steven Philips arrive at the checkpoint in Cripple Creek.  Walter and Steven established a blistering pace early during the ride that decimated the field. The duo finished in a course record time of ...

Steven Philips, Ryan Franz, and Walter Zitz at Cripple Creek


Savvy Triple Crown veteran, Eric Nelsen, catches up the ride leaders at the Cripple Creek checkpoint. 

Mike Coughlin from Ontario, Canada and Steve Rudolph at Cripple Creek.  Mike was a bit stunned by the blistering pace established early during the ride. (Yup, this is how we ride these things. You will be well-prepared for the Hoodoo 500!) 

Triple Crown veteran, Kelly Shannon, at Cripple Creek. Kelly encountered some untimely G.I. issues in Deckers that derailed his attempt at completing his second Crippler. But don't worry, Kelly has informed me that he will be back for redemption in 2015! 

Redemption! Steve Schroer en route to completing his first Cripple Creek Crippler. Steve's 2013 Crippler was marred by mechanical mishaps. 

Diane Benoit looks comfortable in Cripple Creek! Diane was hypothermic as she made the final descent down Deer Creek Canyon to successfully complete this year's Crippler. Diane was the only female competitor this year who had the kahunas to attempt and complete this EPIC course. Hats off to you, Diane! 

Mike Turek and David Nelson at the Cripple Creek checkpoint. Both riders successfully navigated a heavy thunderstorm while climbing out of Cripple Creek to successfully complete this year's ride. 
Tom Miller wins the award for "most combative" rider of the day. Tom mysteriously mangled his chain and rear derailleur during the steep climb up to Cripple Creek. A brief surgical repair to his chain and derailleur adjustment allowed Tom to hobble the final 85 miles and 6,500 feet of additional climbing back to Ken Caryl. Congratulations on completing your fourth Colorado Triple Crown! 

Telluride's Tim Cannon successfully completes his first Cripple Creek Crippler and Colorado Triple Crown. But as Tim will admit, it wasn't easy! (Although I do think that jersey looks good on you!) Congratulations, Tim!
Holding a red taillight to signify "Lanterne Rouge" (i.e., the competitors in last place in a bicycle race),  Jason Turner, David Nelson, and Mike Turek successfully complete the Crippler. (Sometimes it's not about finishing fast, it's just about finishing!) Congratulations to all of you, especially for surviving the less than stellar weather conditions
at the conclusion of the ride.




By completing the Cripple Creek Crippler, the following riders have successfully completed the 2014 Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations to all of you!: 
  1. Craig Howell: 3rd Triple Crown
  2. Mark Lowe: 5th Triple Crown
  3. Tom Miller: 4th Triple Crown
  4. Eric Nelsen: 3rd Triple Crown
  5. David Nelson: 1st Triple Crown
  6. Steve Rudolph: 3rd Triple Crown
  7. Mike Turek: 1st Triple Crown
  8. Walter Zitz: 1st Triple Crown


Colorado Triple Crown Stage Race 
With the cancellation of this year's Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, this year's Colorado Triple Crown "stage race" represents the total cumulative time for the following three events:
  1. Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic (180 miles, 13,500 feet)
  2. Colorado Death Ride (225 miles, 17,000 feet)
  3. Cripple Creek Crippler (208 miles, 19,500 feet)
Total distance/climbing: 613 miles, 50,000 feet

Congratulations to Walter Zitz, for successfully claiming the number one podium spot during this year's staged event. This year's stage race podium includes:
  1. Walter Zitz (total combined time of 35:54)
  2. Eric Nelsen (total combined time of 37:28)
  3. Steve Rudolph (total combined time of 39:06)
Alas, there were no female stage race finishers this season.

Next up...Are you ready to Cycle to Saturn?!?