Are cyclists primed for more greatness?
Can they go even faster?
After breaking three of the four existing records in the Great Lake Tahoe Cycle Race a year ago and eclipsing the three-hour barrier, what additional drama can cyclists provide in Saturday’s 72-mile race?
Lake Tahoe Marathon Director Les Wright, who has included bike races as part of the marathon week for the past seven years, had the foresight to include a camera at last year’s finish line. He needed it. The lead pack was separated by a mere half-a-bike length as it came across the finish line in Zephyr Cove. Winner Curtis Doman’s official winning time was 2 hours, 55 minutes and 21.77 seconds – a mere .27 better than runner-up and masters winner Todd Weitzenberg of Santa Rosa.
Wright expects another competitive race with several hundred participants for the 7 a.m. start at Zephyr Cove Lodge, but said there isn’t a clear-cut favorite.
“I’m not sure it will be as serious as the last two years. These guys all enter late, so it’s hard to say,” Wright said.
There should be more incentive to enter and do well. Wright has raised the overall prize money for men and women by $1,000. He’ll pay each winner $500, with $400 going to the runner-up, $300 for third, $200 for fourth and $100 for fifth.
“It’s getting to be a major event for us,” Wright said.
In addition, a $500 bonus will go to anyone who is able to break Doman’s record time of 2:55:21.77.
Entrants need to pick up their timing chip and racing material between 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Horizon Casino Resort. Late registration and chip, number and wind shirt distribution is scheduled for the ballroom. Any racer registering or picking up their timing chip on race day will be accessed a $10 late fee.
Road cyclists have the option of entering a 35-mile race that starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Tahoe City.