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36th Ironhorse Bicycle Classic
By Staff
Date: 5/27/2007
36th Ironhorse Bicycle Classic

by Alicia Hopkins

May 26-27 2007

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is a race inspired by Tom Mayer, and his older brother Jim. Jim worked as a brakeman on the D & R G W railroad which had run the steam powered locomotive between Durango and Silverton since the 1880's. Tom was a young bicycle enthusiast who grew up along side the tracks to Silverton. Tom challenged Jim to a race to Silverton. As the train came by the house, the steam whistle screamed and Tom climbed on his trusty steel framed 10 speed and pedaled up over the rim of the old volcano and descends into the caldera to the mining town of Silverton. The train takes a shorter and easier route, but with limited speed, so it is truly a race. When Tom became strong enough to win, the bragging rights were his.

In 1972 a group of 36 riders decided to celebrate the first run of the train in the spring, by accepting the challenge. It's been all up hill since then. In 35 years the Iron Horse has become one of the Classic bicycle events in the West. Durango is centrally located between Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. It is an ideal early summer meeting of the riders from each of these cycling centers, to bring home the glory to their own communities. In recent years the participants come from every state and many foreign countries to ride the famed Iron Horse course. Each year hundreds of riders will feel the thrill of descending into Silverton, and looking to see if the train has arrived. And familiar faces will be there, as many people come back year after year to the "best race we've around ".

The Iron Horse features a 47-mile road race, and 52-mileroad tour on the scenic and mountainous Highway 550. This unique race is against an authentic steam powered train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge, ultimately finishing in the mining town of Silverton.

The Navigators Insurance Cycling team's Phil Zajicek took the road race victory, whilst Chris Wherry (Toyota-United) claimed the criterium.

Road Race Results

Criterium Results

Full Race Results



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