Photo finish decides 206-mile LOTOJA race

Fortysomethings place 1-2 in grueling contest

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  • Poncharelli
    Sept. 17, 2007 5:22 p.m.

    The negative comments above are true. That's why I will never do the race.

    I do 20 other USCF and Intermountaincup races each season and refuse to do LOTOJA. Too many negatives and not enough positives.

    There are too many outstanding, excellently run, challenging, fun races in the state to spend so much money on this one.

    They're are also other races locally that are not so flagrantly profitable. I believe the race supports the salary of one individual.

    But if he can do it, more power to him!! I'm just not supporting it.

  • Relay B
    Sept. 16, 2007 7:35 a.m.

    My first Lotoja- a two person relay -and I thought it well run but agree that starting the slower riders last is problematic. We nipped in just before dark after a 7:44a start time. We would have been really bummed to make it that far and be disqualified becausse it was dark!
    Fewer support vehicles would be fantastic- more gas is burned than cyclist calories on that day!
    And Fred Wyoming is the state where horses and cows have more rights than people. And some of the people think cyclists should grow up and buy a car or you've gotten a DUI and HAVE to ride a bike!

  • Citizen 45+
    Sept. 15, 2007 7:58 p.m.

    I finished this LOADAJOKE race last weekend. After 206 miles of chaos, lack of support from the race coordinators, out of food at the stops, and the great finish. Oh wait did I mention they made the oldest riders start last and the younger rider start first? This created a situation where the oldest riders finished in the dark, and the finish line was taken down, not given an official time, and a DNF registered for your name. How lame & unprofessional for a race to not even offer a racer food and drink or a time at the end of a grueling 206 miles, with 45 miles into a head wind. What a shame they charge $150 to enter but provide absolute minimum support, think of all of the hydrocarbons released when 1000 cars & SUV's were providing self support. I saw some cheating in this race, but the real question is where did all the money go from registrations? I did not see it being spent in the race.

  • Mark Schaefer
    Sept. 13, 2007 3:48 p.m.

    NSP as one of the riders in the "photo finish" unfortunately I feel Fred is right. I also consider what the "racers" were doing as cheating, and they know better! Bike "racers" will take advantage of any opportunity, while the officals and promoters of LOTOJA are busy trying to keep the non racers (the riders) in some sort of order the race is running out of control.I made my feelings clear to the "racers". I gave up on the "race" dedicated the rest of my day "riding" to Jackson as fast as I could no matter what was going on behind me. In my opinion LOTOJA needs to be either a race or a ride. The current system no one "wins".....

  • NSP
    Sept. 13, 2007 1:40 p.m.

    I shoot photos of the race for NationalSportsPhotos.com
    My team & I also drive the entire course and see it all. I will verify that officials were present and many volunteers and radio operators. It is a closely monitored race. At one point an officer had to chase down a wayward rider and return him to the course. I was there when the lead rider was slowed by cows in the road. We notified the course officials of the "obstacle".

    I have the photo finish shot to prove it is an exciting race. From the dramtic finish of the fastest racers to the very last wheels to roll in it is great race.

    We need to remember the worthy charities the race supports. Each of you have my respect as riders and Brent Chambers is doing a fantastic job!

  • HEY FRED,
    Sept. 13, 2007 9:18 a.m.

    You don't like Lotoja? DON'T RIDE IT, or fix it so it fits your dream world. There are plenty of people out there who would GLADLY take your spot, and I'd be glad to have your attitude somewhere else!!!

  • Dave
    Sept. 11, 2007 3:47 a.m.

    LOTOJA was awesome. Everything from the organizers to the people along the roads was first rate. I will agree that the first 34 miles were a little confusing but after Preston everything was great. I hope the people of Utah, Id and Wy appreciate the conditions of the highways you all have. Those 206 miles were on some of the best roads I have had the pleasure to suffer on. Now if I can get my wife to agree to support me again next year I will be there for year 2.

  • Dan
    Sept. 10, 2007 9:48 p.m.

    The WY police and city of Jackson were very kind to everyone I saw. Between LOTOJA and some training rides I rode around 500 miles this year in WY, I also rode around 2,500 miles in Utah. The WY drivers are a LOT nicer to cyclists than UT drivers. WY riders actually move to the left when passing a cyclist instead of trying to hit me with their mirrors.

    Thanks LOTOJA for a great race! I had a lot of fun. And thanks Layne and Russ for pulling me through Star Valley.

  • Jed
    Sept. 10, 2007 3:11 p.m.

    You'd need 1,400 officials to make sure the Cat 4s didn't ride with the Cat 3 guys and so forth down the line.

    Just race and let the timing chip determine how fast you are. If you're a Cat 3 racer and don't like the Cat 4s catching up to you, try pedaling faster.

  • Ted
    Sept. 10, 2007 2:33 p.m.

    sounds like the guy above didn't win and is doing a bit if whining. I too competed and experience nothing but smiling faces from police and spectators and all 3 states.

  • Fred
    Sept. 10, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    LOTOJA is the most unorganized 'race' of any race out there. It's a great ride, and a good race for those that follow the rules. But when you start dozens of 50 rider packs that aren't supposed to work together at 2 minute intervals and hire 4 officials to police 1400 racers, it's called anarchy - not racing. I didn't see a single offical for the first 150 miles. And during that first 3/4 of the race, there were cat 3s and masters and tandems and citizend all working together (ie cheating) and taking pace off the 1/2s who were actually trying to race a competitice event and not ride a fun and happy ride to get to the finish. The organizers need to come up with a way to run this better if they want to continue to call it a race because there was very little fair racing out there last saturday.

    And don't get me started how WY police and the city of Jackson harass the racers (ie yell at us to get out of the roads - yes literally) from the second we roll onto their precious state. But they're more than happy to cash in on having 4000 people show up for the weekend to spend the night and tons of $$ in their town.

  • Lance
    Sept. 9, 2007 8:58 p.m.

    The young guys and old guys were on the course at the same time, but were competing separately. Maybe the young guys will go for the course record next time. Fun day...but too much headwind.

  • Frank Bernard
    Sept. 9, 2007 8:46 p.m.

    Great event and a great finish. Especially those poor buggers who were still struggling in after dark. Most of them made it to Jackson by sundown but the finish was actually at Teton Village, a few miles on the other side of Jackson -- maybe it should be called LOTOTEVI. Despite some miscues the team I supported finished well in their division. Congratulation to Nancy, Amy and Shannon! You guys rolled.

  • Eddie Merckx
    Sept. 9, 2007 10:15 a.m.

    LOTOJA rocks.

    Congrats to the old guys kicking young dude booty.