Two accused of cheating in Leadville 100
DENVER – Two mountain-bike racers are facing criminal charges for allegedly cheating in last year’s Leadville Trail 100 race.
Race organizers say 36-year-old Wendy Lyall used Katie Brazelton’s entry number to race in the women’s age 40-49 class and placed second.
Lyall has been charged with criminal impersonation, a class 6 felony, the lowest level felony. Brazelton, 40, will face the same charge, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.
The two women have returned the belt buckle, pendant and necklace won in the race and wrote a letter to organizer Ken Chlouber offering “to do anything to rectify the situation.” The women, both from Vail, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Fellow biker and friend Sheryl Miller said Brazelton couldn’t race because of an injury and didn’t want to waste the $250 fee.
The race has grown in national prominence recently and Lance Armstrong won last year. It’s become more difficult to secure a spot in the race and entries are not refundable or transferrable.
Chlouber said the investigation began with an anonymous tip that Brazleton may not have actually raced.
He said just before the race, he got a call from a bike shop owner pleading for an entry number for Brazleton, who didn’t win a slot in the entry lottery. He said he granted the request.
“This truly is really sad for us,” he said. “We try to do the right thing, and then people cheat.”
Chlouber said it’s not clear whether Lyall or Brazelton took the podium after the race.
Miller, who lives in Vail, thinks prosecuting the women goes too far.
“Wendy and Katie are passionate about this sport and it was never about doing anyone harm or doing anything wrong. It was about getting an opportunity to race a great race,” she said.
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