Sun Valley resident Richard Mull, 66, from Malibu, Ca. got up close and personal on his bike with Colorado’s high-altitude Rocky Mountain roads June 23-29.
He took part in the second edition of the Mavic Haute Route Rockies seven-day bike race that covered 527 miles and 54,000 feet of climbing. Altitudes reached 14,000 feet.
Mull placed 12th overall of 76 male finishers (102 starters), just 18 seconds off the pace of the winner of the 55-plus class.
The seven stages were: 69 miles around Boulder June 23; 87.5 miles from Boulder to Winter Park June 24; 94.2 miles from Winter Park to Avon June 25; the 9.6-mile Avon time trial June 26; 92.7 miles from Avon to Breckenridge June 27; 111 miles around Breckenridge June 28; and 54.3 miles from Woodland Park to Colorado Springs on Friday, June 29.
Mull said, “Weather played a factor at times with snow and temperatures of 34 degrees at the top of Berthoud Pass near Winter Park. The top finishers included a number of mountain bike and road bike professionals and Olympians.
“The race concept started in Europe and was given some prominence in the Oscar-winning documentary ‘Icarus.’
“It is considered the closest thing to the Tour de France in the U.S. for amateurs and professionals—given the difficulty, length and support with vehicles and escorts carrying spare bikes, etc.”
Mull prepared for the Rockies race with a Georgia test.
He won a silver medal during the USA Cycling National Masters road race championship June 15 at Augusta, Ga.
Action took place on a rolling 44-mile loop course in the middle of Fort Gordon U.S. Army base. Mull (2.05:11) finished four seconds behind winner David Hixson of Knoxville, Tenn. (2.05:07) among 22 finishers in the 65-plus age class.
Mull’s next race is Saturday, Sept. 1 in Europe. It is the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships (formerly Union Cycliste Internationale World Masters) at Varese, Italy north of Milan.