Kremmling athlete bests professional riders in first-ever cycling race
Tabor Scholl accomplished something remarkable over the weekend: she placed first among women at the annual Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb cycling race — her first-ever competitive race — and she did it all on a borrowed bike.
Scholl, a Kremmling native and one of Grand County’s most well-known local athletes, is unlike most top-tier competitors who call the area home; her renown is not derived from the snow covered slopes but rather for her incredible endurance.
During her time at West Grand High School, Scholl took home state championships in the 1,600-meter race on more than one occasion and was a top cross-country athlete. Following graduation, she has spent her time as a student at the University of Colorado competing for both the cross-country and track teams.
Part of her training regimen this summer has included regular cycling rides as part of a cross-training effort.
“On a whim I decided to do it, to challenge myself,” she explained, opting to cycle instead of a sole focus on running.
Now preparing for her junior year at the university, Scholl had never before participated in a competitive cycling race. It showed as the one-day racing license she purchased, a category five license, placed her in the lowest category of racers.
But she would soon appear as anything but an amateur.
Saturday’s race at Mount Evans, the 53rd anniversary of the historic hill climb, kicked off near the U.S. Forest Service Clear Creek Ranger District building just off I-70 in Idaho Springs. From there, Scholl and the other competitors raced 28 miles and climbed roughly 7,000 vertical feet on their way to the top of Mount Evans. Scholl completed the ride in a little over two hours.
Not only was her timing the fastest recorded race time among female competitors for this year’s race, Scholl earned the record for second fastest ascent by a woman in the event’s 53-year history. Roughly the first eight miles of the race were relatively mild, but the final 20 miles were a grueling series of steep switchback roads, as she explained.
“My body still remembers it well,” she joked Monday afternoon.
Scholl called the experience “super cool” and said it was so different to race in the cycling world where she felt no pressure over her performance.
“I was just listening to my body and going by feel,” Scholl said. “When I looked at the results it was a cool feeling to do something pretty monumental like that. It is a prestigious race and to do that was pretty shocking.”
Along with her first-place finish Scholl was awarded prize money but, because of her status as a NCAA athlete, she is not allowed to accept any prize money for herself. Instead, Scholl said she plans to donate her winnings back to the race event.
Despite her success she said she has no immediate plans to continue cycling competitively and will be focusing all her efforts on the coming cross-country and track seasons.
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