Riders arrive in Afton, Wyo after riding 125 miles of the 200 mile-plus LoToJa Classic on Sep. 13, 2020 in Wyoming.
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo – It’s been said there is a first time for everything and for the first LoToJa Classic held under COVID-19 restrictions the race was filled with firsts.
For many, there were doubts that this year’s race would even happen. But thanks to careful and thoughtful planning by race organizers, and volunteers and sponsors to keep riders safe, by all accounts, the race was a success.
As race times were posted, the men’s race category was too close to call. Five riders, Cameron Hoffman, Spencer Johnson, Nathan Spratt, Roger Arnell and Marc Spratt came to the line in a thrilling sprint finish.
But in the end, Cameron Hoffman of Clearfield won this year’s race with an overall time of 9:02:48.2 averaging over 22.36 mph on the course. Hoffman’s win was one of the closest margins of victory in recent memory at the LoToJa Classic. First place in the race category for the women went to Amy Heaton with an overall time of 10:02:17. Heaton won in convincing fashion with a five minute lead ahead of the next closest rider.
The goal by race officials to maintain the integrity of the race while making the necessary modifications to keep cyclists safe was accomplished. Given the new precautions due to the global pandemic, race organizers put more time between starting groups, with the first group of cyclists departing Logan at 4:50 am.
For Cannon Clark and Chase Hagl of Twin Falls, ID, this was their first experience in riding the entire 200-plus mile race. Clark who is currently attending the University of North Carolina made the trip all the way to Logan for this year’s race.
“I signed up for LoToJa months ago, and even though it was the toughest day of riding I’ve ever experienced, I’m so glad they were able to hold the race today. I didn’t want to miss out on this experience because of COVID-19,” Clark says. “But for me, race day is a celebration of months and months of training. You put your heart and soul into the race, but it’s the hours and hours of work you put into a dedicated training plan before the race that determines the outcome. LoToJa is definitely a beast of a ride.”
Like many endurance races across the country, cyclists must embrace a rigorous training process in order to see success on the day of the race.
Hagl says, “What more could I ask for in my first LoToJa? It was an absolute sufferfest. But it’s like anything in life that’s worth doing. If you plan and prepare for the day of your big event, you know you have done all you can to see success. You can’t control the outcome—things like the weather, road conditions, mechanical bike issues, and even your health are beyond your control. But what you can control is the training …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News