This Saturday 600 riders will roll out from Beaver, Utah, and head deep into the Tushar Mountains for the eighth edition of the Crusher In The Tushar. The event began as something promoter Burke Swindlehurst initially wasn’t sure would pique the interest of anyone, yet has gone on to cement itself as a cornerstone of the cycling calendar, featuring participants from 31 states at this year’s start.
The Crusher has proven to be a melting pot of cycling disciplines, once again attracting road, mountain bike, cyclocross, and gravel riders ready to challenge themselves on a 69-mile point-to-point route that features a 60/40 split between dirt and pavement. The equipment choices are as diverse as the participants, as everyone has their own idea what the perfect setup is for the day.
Last year’s winners Rob Squire and Janel Holcomb overcame near triple-digit temperatures at the midway point before thunderstorms unleashed a flurry of hail at the finish. Both riders will be back to defend their overall titles and will face a number of current and former professional riders looking to ride their way onto the top step of the podium. Josh Berry, second at this year’s Dirty Kanza 200, will look to challenge Squire and his attempt at a record fourth win. On the women’s side, Alison Tetrick will compete at the Crusher for the first time and is a proven race favorite any time she lines up.
Two icons of the sport will also be in attendance, with Rebecca Rusch and Ned Overend making their Crusher debuts. Rusch recently won the 350-mile DKXL and is a 4x Leadville 100 winner, while Overend is one of the most accomplished mountain bike racers of all time.
“It’s a giant thrill on a personal level to see the likes of Ned and Rebecca’s names on the start list this year”, Swindlehurst said. “They are both huge inspirations to me and it’s an honor to have them at the Crusher. I’m sure I’m not going to be the only one who has a huge grin on his face to see them lining up on Saturday morning!”
When it comes to the course, traditionally, the most notable challenge of the day is the KOM climb, a heavily-washboarded dirt road climb that averages 8% for more than five miles, taking riders up to just shy of 10,000 feet in altitude. The climb is the defining part of the course, and those lucky enough to soak up the scenery around them will enjoy panoramic views of the valley far below and expansive aspen groves near the top. By the time riders cross the finish line at Eagle Point Resort, sitting at nearly 10,500 feet, they will have earned every bit of the post-event celebration.
For more about the Crusher in the Tushar experience, be sure to check out JOM’s video from the 2017 Crusher in the Tushar!
This is how a Florida-based Aussie with sinus infection (always have an excuse) does it. For 2018, the Gravel Cyclist duo of Mr and Mrs K-Dogg return to Crusher in the Tushar!