Grewal conquers pain, Gray’s Peak | AspenTimes.com

Grewal conquers pain, Gray’s Peak

Aspen Times Staff Report

Valley cycling guru Rishi Grewal added another notch to his impressive roster of victories by winning the 16th annual 24-hour Montezuma’s Revenge, held in Montezuma, Colo., on July 26-27.

Grewal covered 145 miles and gained more than 29,000 feet of elevation during what has been dubbed by some as the planet’s toughest 24-hour race.

The Carbondale resident set a new course record on a slightly different course from the 2001 Montezuma’s Revenge.

Despite his past success, Grewal said he was not confident he could pull off a third victory in a row at this year’s event. He had an emergency root canal surgery less than 48 hours before the start of the race, and said he was in a lot of pain during the first 12 hours of the race.

During the crux of the race, Grewal piloted his mountain bike over 14,270-foot Gray’s Peak. From there, he maintained and eventually extended his lead to over an hour ahead of his nearest competitor. With another 24-hour test the very next weekend in Winter Park, Grewal decided to ride conservatively and finished only a few minutes ahead of Dawes Wilson.

“Luckily I was never really pushed to really engage the warp drive and was simply riding a pace that would eventually win the race,” Grewal said. “The terrain is so brutal and energy sapping that you must play your energy reserves wisely. I did that and was able to triumph when not at 100 percent physical condition.”

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The event will be aired on the Outdoor Life Network on Sept. 5, from 9 to 10 p.m.