Grewal upset at Vail 100 mountain bike race | AspenTimes.com

Grewal upset at Vail 100 mountain bike race

Aspen Times Staff Report

The usually indomitable endurance cyclist Rishi Grewal of Missouri Heights was dethroned at the Vail Ultra 100 mountain bike race Saturday.

Grewal, a former U.S. national champion in road racing, team time-trialing and mountain biking, finished second behind Beaver Creek’s Jim Mortenson, last year’s runner-up to Grewal. Mortenson covered the 100-mile course in seven hours, 30 minutes and 24 seconds; Grewal followed some 13 minutes later (7:43:51).

Riding in his fifth consecutive ultra-distance event in as many weeks, Grewal admitted he was apt to loose at least once in five starts at the Vail 100.

?I was really fatigued from the starting bell and was really only running on seven cylinders,” he said. “My heart rate was low throughout the event, so I suffered greatly to even maintain a podium finish.?

The race covered 100 miles of varied terrain in 90-plus degree heat, and featured 28,000 feet of climbing and downhill.

Grewal’s previous races this summer, including the Brain Head 100; Montezuma’s Revenge, 24 Hours of Adrenaline; and the Saturn Cycling Classic one week before, left him open to challengers at the Vail 100.

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?The pain in my feet was astoundingly painful, I was simply yelling, screaming and suffering as I rode the 3,800-foot climb out of Wolcott. It seems all the front runners had this problem for the most part, as the race was close ? you could not stop to relieve the pressure from the pedals.

“I keep telling myself I need a new line of work during these brutal events.?

Grewal, apparently, has a short memory. On Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 in British Columbia, Grewal will be racing in the 2002 World Solo 24 Hours Championship, an event he last won in 1999.

Aspen’s Becca Blay finished fourth among the women at the Vail 100 with a time of 10:20:57, some 25 minutes behind winner Michelle Grainger of Boulder (9:55:49). Ted McBlane of Aspen was eighth overall (8:15:48).