Teper, who has leukemia and is anemic, rode over 1,000 miles in preparation for the brutal course at Mt. Evans, and more than accomplished his goal of “just crossing the finish line.” It certainly was not easy. The high altitude and thinning air only served to complicate an already difficult task - cycling straight up a 6,630-foot course. While Teper did not win the race up, he may have won the race down, descending the 28 miles in just 57-scary minutes through intense thunder and hail storms that moved in just after he completed his ascension.
“It was a brutal ride,” said Teper. “I can remember looking up toward the top of this barren rocky outcrop, and [all] I could see were the small figures of bikers zigzagging their way towards the clouds. For the last hour, I was so tired I couldn’t reach down and grab my water bottle for a drink. When I crossed the finished line, I put my bike down and cried like a baby.”
The annual event, named after five-time winner Bob Cook, who passed away in 1981 after a courageous bout with cancer at the age of 23, began in 1962 with only a handful of riders. This July, 1,075 racers and riders participated in 10 different age categories. Tom Danielson, a world-class racer with Team Discovery Channel, won the race for a second time, crossing the finish line at 1:43:04, one minute and 44 seconds off his own course record of 1:41:20 (2004).