Local cyclist and Paragon Racing Team member Dan Dean joined fellow Telluride roadie Chris Cardoza in this big-time statewide circuit race, comprised of 12-mile laps climbing 1,300 feet.
Dean competed in the senior men's 4 division, while Cardoza competed in the 35+ division. Cardoza was forced to cut his four-lap race short due to a flat tire on the second lap. Dean had better luck, although he said conditions were difficult for this heat-of-the-summer event.
"The race started at 12:30 in the afternoon. The conditions were oppressive, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees," he said. "It was just brutal, there was no way to stay hydrated, know matter how much you drank."
Two racers broke away from the pack of 65 riders in the first lap, with a group of seven, including Dean, giving chase in the second lap.
"We stayed together until the start of the last lap when I decided to make a move and broke away from my group and tried to at least secure third place," said Dean of the group's push for the finish. "The race ended on a climb of three miles. As I started the last climb I caught and passed one of the two leaders. At that point I realized that I might have a chance for the win. At about one kilometer to go I caught the other rider, he tried to counter but he didn't have much left."
Dean took the win, his first ever in a road race. "The last lap was total suffering," he said, "but it paid off. [The win] was well worth the effort!"