2015 Crusher in the Tushar Race Report, Part 4

01.6.2016 | 4:36 pm

A Note from Fatty: If you haven’t read the previous installments of this race report, you should read them before you read this. So that it at least has a chance of making sense to you.

Another Note from Fatty: If perchance you hope to register for this race, I understand registration opens 6 January at 7pm MST.

It’s a little bit bizarre how often I changed groups while racing the 2015 Crusher in the Tushar.

Early in the race, I was floating through various strata of age groups. Then I sifted through climbers of different abilities…’til I found one that fit me. Then I found myself in an entirely new group: people who were good at climbing, but bad at descending, and pretty good at working in a group.

But now, suddenly, all those groups were gone, and I was in no group at all. 

Now I was on a rough jeep road, and would be for the next five or so miles. And I guess that’s a solitary experience, because this enormous group I’d been working with — our paceline had been greater than twenty people when we came through the aid station — had completely dispersed.

Which meant that I got to ride my favorite section of the course by myself.

My Happy Place

Everyone has their favorite kind of riding, which means that the Crusher has something to offer to everyone. Part of it’s a road race. Part of it’s a gravel grinder. And this five mile section is a mountain bike race.

Not technical, but it helps to pick your line. And it helps to have a mountain bike (the only section of the race, in fact, where a mountain bike is a huge help). 

It rolls along nicely, climbing for a couple miles. Then it levels off, does a little more climbing, and then levels off some more. It has a great flow. It’s what I’m good at, and I was having fun.

Considering the name someone gave the section on Strava, however (Mojave Desert Hell), I guess I might be in the minority of folks who love this part of the race.

The Test

Every really great race has an iconic section: the make-or-break section that truly matters. The place that exposes your strength or weakness (or, most often, both).

For the Crusher in the Tushar, this is the Col du Crush, aka the Crusher KOM. 2300 feet of dirt road climbing in five miles. Starting at fifty-one miles into the race. With the knowledge that even once you finish this section, you’re going to continue climbing, most of the time, for another fifteen miles or so. 

Perhaps it’s just a subconcious defense mechanism, but I have only the vaguest of recollections of this section.

I remember pain.

I remember hunting for an easier line, one with less loose gravel. I remember shifting to my easiest gear, then frequently checking to see if a new, easier gear had spontaneously manifested on my bike. (Hey, if there was ever a time for spontaneous gear manifestations, this was that time.)

I remember a guy in a Chamois Butt’r kit telling me (as he effortlessly passed me) that he had had three flats that day.

I also remember pain.

I remember dialing back my effort just a little, because I felt a cramp coming on and remembered the debilitating, ride-stopping cramp I had experienced at this point the last time I had raced the Crusher.

Mostly, though, I remember pain.

The Long Pull

Just one more mile ’til the top of the climb. I was in my element, racing like I had never raced before. Climbing like a man possessed. Possessed by something that likes to climb, that is.

Ahead of me, I saw a woman I recognized. But it was one of those weird recognitions: I knew I didn’t know her name, and couldn’t even figure out where I knew her from.

Then it popped into my head: The Cedar City Fire Road 100. She and I had been within a couple hundred feet of each other for most of the race, ’til she had cramped and gotten off her bike. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the elite racer, Amy.

She asked if she could ride my wheel; she was already maxed out. 

“Sure you can,” I replied. “There’s always room on the Fatty Train.”

I saw my next carrot: a woman wearing a “Juliana” jersey. Kelli Emmett. I stood up, began rowing my bike. I wanted to see this woman’s bike. I had my reasons.It was not easy to catch her. Not easy at all. But I managed.


I did not speak once I had caught her. I needed a minute for the tunnel vision to recede. As I tucked in and tried not to get dropped, I looked at her bike: a gorgeous Juliana Nevis hardtail.

“So, how do you like that Juliana?” I asked, doing my best to get her to talk…and therefore slow down.

“It’s amazing,” Kelli replied. Then she stood up and attacked, dropping me. 

At which point Amy swung around from behind me and latched onto Kelli.

“Well, I don’t really want to be left behind,” I thought to myself, and stood up, jumping to catch the train. Perfectly willing to just hang on.

But as it turned out, Kelli popped as soon as I caught up, drifting back. Which put Amy in a good spot to grab back onto my wheel.

She apologized  for not taking a pull. I laughed; as knife-thin as she was she wouldn’t have offered me any kind of respite by pulling. Plus we were climbing at about 0mph anyway. Getting a “pull” had a psychological benefit, at best…and a (highly probable) massive olfactory disadvantage, at worst.

Grizzly Adam, Minus Wheels

It is a statement of fact that in the Crusher, you are never done with the climbing until you are done with the race. That said, eventually the lion’s share of the climbing is behind you and you can start rebuilding your average speed back into the double digits.

On one of the flat sections — with about five miles to go — I saw a racer on the side of the road. Working on his bike. A small group of spectators were clustered around him.

“Grizzly” Adam Lisonbee. I was passing Adam. Which I would never have expected to do. He’s made a bit of a life study of this race, and he’s faster than I am anyway.

I yelled “Hey Adam” as I went by, and only later would find out that — rather than DNF — he would walk the final five miles of the race

I admire that. I wouldn’t do that, but I do admire it.

Finish Line

When we hit the pavement with just a few miles to go, the course began taking turns going up…then down. Then up again, then down some more. 

Amy would hang on during the climbs, then drop me on the descents. Then I’d claw my way back to her on the climbs.

Finally, I was at the final mile. One very steep mile, averaging eight percent.

I averaged 7.1mph up that mile and am pleased to say that nobody passed me. 

At least, I don’t remember anyone passing me.

But it’s possible that I don’t remember it because I’ve learned to block the memory of traumatic experiences, in order to continue registering for races like this.

With a half-mile to go, I did a doubletake: there was Amy, ahead of me.


How did that happen?

Then I figured it out as I got closer: it wasn’t Amy; it was another woman (Anne Perry, who’d take fourth in the Pro/Open category), wearing the same team jersey.

“You’ve got a teammate about one minute back,” I said, as I went by. Then I wondered why I said it. In case she wanted to hold up and wait for her? In case she didn’t want her teammate to outsprint her? Just to be informative? 


I went as hard as I could, just burying myself because…well, because this is the Crusher in the Tushar. You don’t want to cross the finish line feeling good.

And I finished well. It was my fastest Crusher (by almost half an hour) of the three times I’ve done it: 5:16:18. Which is good enough for fourteenth (out of 71) in the Men’s 40-49 category.

But it would’ve been good enough to get me on the podium (fifth place) in the Men’s 50+ category. Which is my new age group for the 2016 Crusher.

So take heed, oldsters. 

Podiums and Sandbags

I went and changed my clothes (you can send a drop bag with a change of clothes to the finish line before the race) and went to wait for my friends and family.

By the time I had changed, Ben was already in: 5:39:22. We stood together, watching for our respective wives to come in.

What I don’t think either of us expected, though, was that they’d be coming in together, side by side:

Thumb IMG 3350 1024

“Oh, that’s cool. They’re going to finish together,” I said.

“No they aren’t,” said Ben.

And as it turns out, Ben knows his wife better than I know my niece. With about fifty feet to go, Lindsey attacked on the steep climb. The Hammer did not react, and Lindsey, won by seven seconds (5:59:55 and 6:00:02, respectively). 

[A Note from Fatty: Lindsey disputes the above account of events. See her comment for her version of what happened in this  race. And click here for a Strava flyby of the Hammer v Lindsey race.]

This put Lindsey on the 35 & Under Women podium in third place: 

Thumb IMG 3379 1024

And it also ignited just a little bit of a fire in The Hammer’s belly

As for The Hammer, she also took third in the 36-49 Women age group. Here she is, showing off her cool trophy:

Thumb IMG 3390 1024

And here’s the full podium:

Thumb IMG 3395 1024

And who else was on the podium? 

Screenshot 2016 01 05 16 16 55

AnneMarie White (second place) turned in a fantastic performance, beating Lisa by just over five minutes.

Meanwhile, first place in the women’s 36-49 age group category went to Amy. 

Yeah, Amy. The woman I had been pulling for fifteen miles. Amy beat second place AnneMarie by a full half hour. Her time, in fact, would have put her on the women’s pro/open podium. 

Which is where she should have been.

Look, here’s the thing: If you’re an elite roadie, it doesn’t matter if you are somewhat new to mountain biking when you’re racing a course that’s 50% pavement and 45% graded dirt road. 

If your recent USA Cycling results look like this, you shouldn’t be racing against age groupers. 

What’s the big deal? Well, I’m not making this point on The Hammer’s behalf (although I probably wouldn’t have noticed this huge gap in times on the podium if The Hammer hadn’t also been on it). It’s on AnneMarie’s behalf, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve never met her. 

AnneMarie is a local rider and mother of young kids. She’s obviously been knocking herself out to become wicked fast. She’s an actual age-grouper who has stepped up her game, and she deserved to race against other age groupers, netting a win.

I actually asked Burke about this; he said that racers get to choose their own categories in this race. In general, this honor system works. If someone sandbags, they may get on the podium, but they expose themselves to the consequences. 

Plus, I’m just a little bit bugged that I helped someone increase her gap on my wife.

[A Note from Fatty: A few folks have commented that I incorrectly portrayed Amy as a pro; I’ve edited this post to fix that. She isn’t and hasn’t been a pro. (She has been on multiple elite teams, however, which is where my confusion came from.)

I’ve also removed her last name in the text so this post won’t appear on searches for her name. And I’ve pulled out the giant USA Cycling screencap that calls undue attention to what is in fact a pretty small part of the story.

Some have also commented that it was not cool for me to bring this up at all. I disagree with that. This is my blog; I get to say when I see something wrong. 

I highly recommend reading the comments, though, to get alternative perspectives. And note that they are all making their points without getting insulting. I appreciate that.]

Chill Out Fatty

OK, take a deep breath, Fatty. The world didn’t end. This race, on the other hand, did end, months and months ago. And The Hammer never seemed particularly fussed.

And in fact, this was in almost all respects a perfect day of racing. Burke Swindlehurst (shown below with The Hammer and me, and also demonstrating how much thinner this kind of hoodie can look when properly worn) and his crew put on an incredible race.

Thumb IMG 3385 1024

The Hammer and I are cutting back on the number of races we’re doing in 2016, basically reacting to the awareness that we’ve gone a little nuts for racing the past couple years.

We won’t be at as many races; we’re going to do more riding for fun.

But we will be back to the Crusher in the Tushar. Every. Single. Year.

It’s that good.


  1. Comment by ScottyCycles | 01.6.2016 | 6:14 pm

    I agree Fatty, licensed as a Pro you should race the Pro cat not the age group cat. There used to be a Pro Mens racer here who would race the age group at Boulevard then race the Pro race after. Even though he aged grouped to “warm up” he still employed his Pro team to take the win just as they would’ve done in the Pro Cat. Let the weekend warriors have their day.

  2. Comment by Mefly | 01.6.2016 | 7:19 pm

    Yes in hindsight looks like sandbagging but don’t be so quick to judge. If you look at past races in this blog you will find very strong athletes taking podium in sport class when they should have been racing expert. Perspective.

    I tell you, first I’m too slow to write the race report, then I’m too quick to judge. I can’t seem to get my timing right.

    That said, I don’t know what you’re referring to when you talk about podiuming in sport when they should be racing expert. ‘Cuz I’m pretty sure I’ve never podiumed…even in sport. – FC

  3. Comment by Josh McCarrel | 01.6.2016 | 7:22 pm

    Haha. Literally the last time I read this blog you were calling out a local racer by name to chastise them for something they did in a local race.

    Calling people out is all I do, really. It’s my thing.

    Also, it would be wildly inaccurate to call Thornquist a “local racer.” She’s a seasoned pro who has raced for multiple pro teams, both outside and inside Utah. Check her USA Cycling page; she’s no joke (hint: if you’ve won a National TT Championship, you’re no longer a local racer). – FC

  4. Comment by AC | 01.6.2016 | 8:05 pm

    Nothing wrong with calling out sandbaggers IMO. That’s why blogs were invented.

  5. Comment by Miles Archer | 01.6.2016 | 8:58 pm

    How do you remember what you said to someone months earlier?

    Interesting stuff sticks in my head. I tend to think, “that’s part of today’s story.” – FC

  6. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.6.2016 | 9:17 pm

    So I hope you’re racing in the ‘pro’ category this year because now that you’ll be 50 I’ll be ‘racing’ against you. #lifesnotfair

    Any Fatties who want to ride an amazing ride this is it.
    The descent is the most beautiful sight you’ll see. you’ll slow down just so you can enjoy the vista just a little longer.

    The jeep road not my favorite and the jackrabbit that someone ‘took out’ confirmed it as the most dangerous.

    My personal favorite section was after the climb and the aid station (where Burke’s parents were still there as I straggled through) and coursing across the undulating ridge and before the pavement. SRAM Support Wagon (sorry I forgot their names) gave me a WBR shout out and it took me a moment to understand why. Oh. the jersey. that was it.

    That last mile. Ill leave that surprise for anyone who comes.

    Come on out. you won’t regret the experience…or the effort.

  7. Comment by Flahute | 01.6.2016 | 10:15 pm

    For the record, Amy Thornquist is not a professional road rider. She has never held an international license (required of pro riders), and untl this year, DNA was a domestic elite team; i.e. an elite amateur team.

    And she finished about 14 minutes behind the third-place finisher (also not a pro rider) in the Open race.

    Oh … and that National Championship she won, back in 2012? That was a MASTERS 35-39 national championship, not an Elite/Pro national championship.

    09/09/2015 – 2015 USA Cycling Masters Road Nationals | TT | Master | 40-44
    3 / 7 500.61 Amy THORNQUIST 366700 50:01.0 155 DNA Cycling 801

    09/08/2012 – 2012 USA Cycling Masters Road Nationals | CRIT | Master | 35-39
    4 / 12 - Amy Thornquist 366700 1:06:07 192 Stevens Bikes p/b Pactimo

    09/06/2012 – 2012 USA Cycling Masters Road Nationals | RR | Master | 35-39
    2 / 17 - Amy Thornquist 366700 2:48:32 192R Stevens Bikes p/b Pactimo

    09/05/2012 – 2012 USA Cycling Masters Road Nationals | TT | Master | 35-39
    1 / 13 - Amy THORNQUIST 366700 42:37.88 9192 Stevens Bikes p/b Pactimo

    So to use your own words, “Chill Out Fatty”.

  8. Comment by Flahute | 01.6.2016 | 10:19 pm

    Oh … and none of the teams listed in her USA Cycling results are pro teams.

    I’ve updated the post to reflect this. And I’m trying to chill out. – FC

  9. Comment by Windmills | 01.6.2016 | 10:47 pm

    Actually Amy is not the “professional roadie” you seem to think she is. She raced on a locally-based domestic elite team (still not pro) in 2014, was seriously injured and did not return to the DE team for 2015. She was on an amateur club (DNA801) last year and was racing for fun – gravel grinders, triathlon,…

    Fair enough; my knowledge of how teams works is pretty limited and it’s not immediately obvious to me what separates a pro from a domestic elite team. Regardless, given her status as an elite athlete, it seems to me she ought to have been in the open/pro division. – FC

  10. Comment by Shane Dunleavy | 01.6.2016 | 11:14 pm

    Fatty, calling out a racer for trying something new and then excelling at it is really lame. You saw Amy in her first two MTB type races ever, in fact she had only ridden a MTB about 10x before doing the Crusher.

    For the record she is not a “pro roadie” , never rode for a pro team and has never been paid to ride a bike. What she is is an extremely hardworking and talented athlete, she works full time, gets up at 4-5 am to get her workouts in, maintains a household and mangages her life in such a way that she succeeds in athletic events. For this she should be applauded not belittled.

    It should be noted that every other athlete on that podium was significantly younger than she was. Amy will be 43 this year when she races the Crusher again in her given age group, 36-49, that places her closer to the upper limit than the lower limit and every racer in that group has just as much opportunity to train and succeed. Like last year she will be training for triathlons and do maybe one MTB race before the Crusher.

    You and I will be racing the 50+ together and seeing as you were 15 min faster than me I will be seeking out your wheel. I doubt either of us will see Amy unless we find the dedication to train like she does.

    I do applaud Amy’s efforts and success. And “success” is the key word here. With that race resume, Amy simply should not have been racing in the age group category. She’s an elite athlete; she needs to race against elite athletes.

    Also, The Hammer will be 48yo when she races the Crusher this year, five years older than Amy. so not everyone on that podium was younger than Amy.

    Good luck at the Crusher this year! – FC

  11. Comment by SB | 01.6.2016 | 11:35 pm

    Racing is always a challenge. Its also situational. If you truly love the sport of cycling, it shouldn’t matter is a chick is stronger than you or your wife. Do your best, train hard, always strive for better. And have some class by not calling people out by name to shame. It’s makes you look bad, unsportsmanlike, and insecure.

    I’ve been doing this blog for nearly eleven years now. Anyone who doesn’t know by now that I’m unsportsmanlike and insecure just hasn’t been paying attention. – FC

  12. Comment by owen | 01.7.2016 | 8:04 am

    Fatty great race report. Its your blog do what you want and how you want to do it. I commend you for sticking up for your wife and your beliefs. These types of races always seem to be tough to figure out who should be racing in what class when you have such a mix of roadies/mtb’s etc. Keep smiling and having fun.

    Thanks for reading, and especially for noticing that there is a race report in there. – FC

  13. Comment by A. Nonny Mouse | 01.7.2016 | 8:44 am

    Shane wasn’t kidding, Amy has registered for the 2016 Crusher as an age grouper: https://tusharcrusher.athlete360.com/RegistrationList.aspx?PurchasableGuid=80a535e4-539f-4624-9c14-21fac9edee91

  14. Comment by Anonymous | 01.7.2016 | 10:12 am

    I’m calling Bull—-!

    As for insecure. I have been following for a long time and …..yes. You do fret too much. But if that kind of insecurity results in the accomplishments you have achieved….can we market it?

    Let’s get DaveT, BenD, and you on board, and the Hammer can have her own train to be pulled by.

  15. Comment by Lindsey Donn (your niece) | 01.7.2016 | 10:14 am

    Ummm…. forget about whether or not Amy is a pro. Who cares. Clearly the real story here is the fact that Lisa totally and completely reacted when she saw that I was going to pass her. I raced ahead of Lisa by a solid amount of time for the majority of the race. That is, until the Col de Crush literally crushed me and destroyed part of my soul. Shortly after the KOM climb was done I hear Lisa’s overly enthusiastic, high-pitched voice screaming “I SEEEEEEE YOOOU….” and then I knew it was all over. She caught up to me in the next few minutes and asked if I had anymore GUs. Stupidly, we both put some spare GU into our Camelbaks…the most inaccessible place that one could put a GU when racing. So we were both short on what we needed. Lisa stopped at the next feed zone to refuel and I pressed on, knowing that she would catch and pass me again in just a few short minutes. And she did….

    But then something amazing happened. I ate my last GU and perhaps the coke that I swigged down earlier on the KOM kicked in and just a little bit of life started to come back to me. I could see a flicker of red and black from Lisa’s Fatty kit maybe a quarter mile or so in front of me (complete guess…. but I could see her). I shifted down and started to grind. I knew the race finished with a climb and that Lisa was a stronger climber than I am. But there was a nice, paved descent before that climb, and that was my only shot at catching Lisa. And I did. At the base of the final paved climb, I caught Lisa and could not have been happier. All I managed was something to the effect of, “Hey.” Then Lisa glanced and me and took off. But this race wasn’t over. I hung on for dear life, experiencing what I now know was my first ever encounter with cramps. I thought my quads were going to burst out of my skin. But to beat The Hammer… worth it. We both wanted sub-6, and it was barely in our sights. And you cannot honestly tell me that Lisa is not giving it her all from that photo you posted…. she is grimacing. I am grimacing. And this is a victory against Lisa that I relish. Even though it was only by a few seconds, it was just enough to get me under 6 hours and to have a rare photo finish ahead of The Hammer. And also she destroyed me in Leadville and LOTOJA, so come on, give me a break…. she tried AND reacted to my attack, and for once, did not succeed.

    Awesome comment, Lindsey! Whether I correct the post to reflect this story will reflect whom I fear more: my wife or my niece. – FC

  16. Comment by Tom in Albany | 01.7.2016 | 10:26 am

    So, we have a series of differing opinions on Amy’s proper grouping. That’s where it will remain. A difference of opinion.

    I don’t mind you calling her out, Fatty. It would have had me wondering. Now you know more about teams than you did.

    You’ve worked in industry/business to know that there are sandbaggers out there and that there are people that lack the confidence to set an aggressive goal. You can never really know which person you’re dealing with until you get to know them.

    And maybe, just maybe, all of this will get Ann Marie White to re-double her efforts and close that gap.

    I’m a 50 year old guy now. Let me tell you, there are some friggin’ fast 50 year olds out there!

    Thanks for finishing the write-up. Really enjoyed it!

    Good perspective, Tom. – FC

  17. Comment by owen | 01.7.2016 | 11:22 am

    the race report for the 2016 Crusher is shaping up to be a must read!! Don’t let all of the competitive juices ruin the whole race experience – there will always be somebody faster.

  18. Comment by PNP | 01.7.2016 | 11:52 am

    I hope you’re not cutting the Rockwell Relay out of your schedule. That and Leadville are my favorites of your race reports, though I enjoy all of them. You make me secretly covet the idea of riding Rockwell myself, which is completely insane, but the best ideas do tend to be the crazy ones.

    Thanks for a great report with the longest cliffhanger in history.

    Rockwell is one of my must-not-miss races. Team Fatty will be there. And thanks for the kind words about my race reports! – FC

  19. Comment by Mateo | 01.7.2016 | 11:54 am

    Great report, thanks for finishing it. Your opinions, your blog…continue to call it as you see it, that’s the fun of your perspective and writing. Just finished your latest book (for free! thanks for the Christmas gift), fun to recall some of those stories and enjoy the added footnotes. Have a great ‘16 riding for fun and for life.

  20. Comment by A True Age Grouper | 01.7.2016 | 12:18 pm

    Long time reader-first time commenter…..Love your blog Fatty and Thanks for another great race report. You have me seriously considering doing this epic race! As a true age grouper that works incredibly hard at managing a family, a job and training-I know the value in a true age group podium! I’ve never actually been on a podium-but I have come close-4th place twice! It’s frustrating when a race director has put in an actual “pro/elite” category for the purpose of pulling these talented riders from the rest of us “want to be’s”. I’ve wondered what makes someone a “pro” mountain biker. In road racing I think they place riders in categories, but there is no such distinction in mountain biking. I think it must me based on honesty. But if someone is the 4th fastest woman at a race (posting a time competitive with “pro” riders) they might want to consider how good/fast they really are! If winning means so much to people like Ms Thornquist then by all means race at a lower level and make us “age groupers” feel extra bad about ourselves and take your uncontested win. Thanks Fatty for expressing your opinion. Maybe Ms Thornquist just didnt realize where she should be competing.

  21. Comment by Windmills | 01.7.2016 | 12:25 pm

    Hey thanks for responding to my comment and correcting the pro reference. I don’t agree with you on calling her out as a sandbagger – as I know her motivation for racing – but this is your blog! What do you think about the men’s side? there are racers that have raced on the national elite level racing age-based – are they sandbaggers also?

    Thanks for your reply. Like I mention in the blog, the only reason I was aware of this is because it had to do with the podium my wife was on. So I honestly don’t know who you’re talking about (or if you’re describing something that happens often). From what you describe, though, I would say definitely yes: if the fourth-fastest man, overall in the whole race including all pro men, were to have instead raced in my age group last year, beating the entire age group field by half an hour, I probably would notice, look him up, and call him out.

    In other words, if Alex Grant (the fourth-fastest person in the men’s pro/open division) had instead raced as a 45-49yo, maybe I would have called him out on it. Or maybe I wouldn’t have noticed, because Alex’s time is only twelve minutes faster than the Thomas Cooke’s — the guy who actually won my age group.

    In fact, to create a comparable blowout level to Amy vs Age Groupers in my group, you’d have had to put the overall pro/open men’s winner (Robert Squire) into my age group race, with Robert Squire’s 4:09 still not quite being as big a gap to Thomas Cook’s 4:38 as Amy’s 5:24 was to AnneMarie’s 5:54.

    Amy’s motivations may be completely pure. In fact, they probably are. But her racing level is nowhere near in line with the group of people she’s choosing to race against. – FC

  22. Comment by BS | 01.7.2016 | 1:02 pm

    Here’s the thing, you have a wide audience, your attack on a named competitor is poor form. Your followers will either agree with you or disagree. The internet being what it is these same followers may even go further with the condemnation. Rule #1 of the Breck Epic comes to mind. To be honest, many folks I know, including me, feel you have broken this rule here. It is your blog and you can do and say what ever you want, but, you are wrong here and doubling down on the attack is petty and poor form.

  23. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 01.7.2016 | 1:31 pm

    Oh Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey! I was sooooooo very happy to have finally caught you! You are my idol! My goal in every race last year was to hang with you! You are a power house! If this 48 year old woman can keep up with that darling 20ish year old body, I have succeeded in my racing endeavors! When you sprinted passed me at the end I was so proud of you! I had given it my all to get to the finish line and there you were blowing past me! Sadly, I think my days of passing you are over! Good luck in you’re 2016 racing season!

  24. Comment by Windmills | 01.7.2016 | 1:34 pm

    I’m just wondering if and how you can even set a standard in age-based groupings. It can’t be based on a riders’ previous record (once a masters champion or once raced on an elite team) because athletes change as they get older and their training and life goals change. I think its great they still compete. It can’t be based on the finishing time, I don’t think it’s fair to say so-and-so won by too big a margin, therefore they are sandbagging – because anything can happen in a 5-6 hour race. When I race age-based it’s really to participate, I’m not in contention for a podium, so I may be completely missing the point – but contrary to being offended when big names ride in my age category (same category as you), I think its kind of cool to line up with these former racers… For example, last year’s winner in your age-category is a very talented racer who would have gotten top 10 in the Pro Men’s field beating a UCI pro racer. I get where you are coming from, but I also understand when people don’t take kindly to calling out sandbagging in age-based racing.

    That’s a really well-reasoned and well-put argument, and I appreciate you taking the time to lay it out like that. – FC

  25. Comment by LinLawLas | 01.7.2016 | 4:47 pm

    Although I completely disagree with you (particularly because I know Amy and have the actual facts), I think it is sweet that you are likely more upset about this because of “The Hammer” who sounds like an amazing athlete (like Amy is). How about if we all applaud these women who kick my ass in everything I try? If I worked as hard as Amy, AnneMarie, and The Hammer I would have a shot at the podium too. The thing that makes me sad is calling someone out by name. We women (and our partners) need to support each other and try to get MORE of us out there. I am fearful that this attitude of watching someone carefully and calling out what you consider an indiscretion (without having all of the information) and using names will keep some of us from entering the arena at all.

    Come On Girls – Let’s Get Out There!! I know there are more of us who could give Amy, AnneMarie, and The Hammer a run for their money!!

  26. Comment by Shane Dunleavy | 01.7.2016 | 5:52 pm

    Lots of interesting discussion here. LinLawLas makes a very good and accurate point in that this type of public shaming harms the individual and the sport. Plus you don’t have all the facts, you have no idea what issues an athlete you call out might be dealing with – Amy has overcome obstacles in the past couple years that would have put many out of the sport, and her success that day at the Crusher should be celebrated not belittled.

    Your post was very personal and deeply upsetting to her and initially made her consider not racing the Crusher this year. She is not going to train for it but is going to race it with me again for fun like she did last year, but she is apprehensive that she will be marked despite the fact that as of right now there are 3 other Cat 1 road riders, 2 Cat 1 cyclocross riders, 1 cat 1 MTB rider and even a 37 year old with an international elite license who will be racing in the 36-49 year old field. Looks like its going to be a very tough field and you will have to call out a lot more women next year.

  27. Comment by rb | 01.8.2016 | 1:28 am

    Fatty, another great race report. You do a great job of putting us on the bike with you. Maybe even inside your head a little bit. Sometimes i want to eat a GU in the middle of the report so I don’t bonk.

    Some of my favorite people in cycling love this race — the ones who truly love to ride, and want others to ride as well. Officially on the list for 2017

  28. Comment by Arizona Guy | 01.8.2016 | 10:12 am

    Living in Boulder, I sometimes see guys on the podium in my AG that I used to read about in magazines, last summer I got chicked by freaking Colleen De Reuck, a multi-time world and national champion who was racing as an AG competitor. I hope for a ‘Legends’ class for retired pros that still have more talent in their saddle bag than I ever had.

    Then I say to myself, man up. There are already dozens of categories in every race, awards take forever and we don’t need to sub-divide the categories until we all feel recognized.

    As to calling her out in your blog, it is YOUR blog so you get to make the rules. You’ve worked hard to build a platform and no reason why you shouldn’t be able to voice your opinion.

  29. Comment by LinLawLas | 01.8.2016 | 3:42 pm

    “Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

    ? Bill Bullard

  30. Comment by linlawlas | 01.8.2016 | 5:36 pm

    Ignore the random “?” :)

  31. Comment by Gary Phisher | 01.10.2016 | 7:38 am

    It’s RIDICULOUS to say Amy should have been anything but an age group racer. After all, she was merely the second-fastest woman overall (including all pro women) when she raced the Boise half IronMan in June 2015. She was (naturally) registered as an age group racer there; how could she know she would dominate all but one woman in the pro field? So clearly she should be an age grouper in the Crusher.

    It’s JUST PLAIN NUTS to say that Amy should be racing in pro/open division at the Crusher, because she’s really new to riding on dirt! (Please ignore that in April 2015 she won her age group [yes, racing in age group division] the XTERRA in NV, qualifying for XTERRA WORLDS in Maui.

    It’s JUST NOT RIGHT to say that Amy should be racing among the fastest women in the area. Consider that at the 2015 Fire Road 100: she was only the THIRD fastest woman, overall.

    Based on these races in the few months before the Crusher, I think it’s obvious: She is only a so-so racer. Pack fodder. CLEARLY she belonged in the age grouper category!

  32. Comment by Bill Bullard | 01.26.2016 | 8:06 am

    Yay for Bill Bullard quotes!

  33. Comment by Keylin1994 | 01.27.2016 | 12:19 pm

    All you really have to do is Google Amy T’s name to find out that she should not be racing in AG. She has raced in Pro bicycles races and beaten Pros(Ali Tetrick to name one). I have to believe that when she enters a race she does not perceive her race to be against her age group, but it is against everyone one else.

    The fact that a previous commenter point out that she is somehow victimized by being called out for this impropriety is borderline absurd. I agree with Mr. Fatty’s assertion that she should not be racing in AG. Her past results in Tri, Road, and Mtn all clearly show that she is an elite athlete and should be racing in the Open/Pro category…that is the reason they have that category.

  34. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 02.8.2016 | 2:50 pm

    Sandbaggers are a pet peeve of mine as well. When I race XC MTB I will sign up in the Clydesdale category when available. As a person who is naturally on the larger side 6′6″ right now about 215lbs.
    I look at those who stand on the Clydesdale podium and see occasionally see guys under 6′ and perhaps 190, or less. Do I ever say anything to those guys – no, but I am tempted. Now if I had a forum, say a widely read blog that I wrote, well then I would shout from the roof tops.
    I am aware that some guys feel that guys who are tall should only be Clydesdale if they are in excess of 250lbs. To this I say at my height I couldn’t get under 200lbs unless I looked like a poster child for anorexia.

    I’m not going to name names (learned that lesson) but I know of a person who is ultra-fit but can — if she eats an enormous meal and drinks a ton of water and puts on heavy shoes and a coat — edge into the Athena category for marathons. She regularly wins. I don’t think that’s cool, and she knows it. – FC

  35. Comment by Nancy Russell | 02.8.2016 | 8:54 pm

    Coming from the women who took 6th at Crusher last year and was knocked off the podium by Amy, I was ticked! She should have raced pro and she signed up again this year in the same age group category! I think it’s lame. If your a pro in any field of bike racing, you are a pro.


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