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Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race May 19-20
The Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race, a May 19-20 fundraiser for Washington Special Olympics: a grueling weekend of work for some; just plain fun for others. It is attended by cycling enthusiasts from the US and Canada and is dubbed Western Washington’s Biggest, Most Competitive Cycling Event. Those who make it through the time trials for a treasured spot in the criterium and road race likely agree. Those who sit on the sidelines admiring the athletes’ unwavering focus as they round each criterium corner also agree that it is fun… but from a completely different perspective.
Erik Anderson, an ardent supporter of the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race, liked the event so much that he went from racing to organizing. He explained, “I got involved with the organizational side of [the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race]… because I have a lot of experience organizing cycling events.” A Washington native, Anderson started competing as an elite speed skater and moved into cycling. He explained, “…I [met] Jack Broadhead, who was a promising junior cyclist… we were spending time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for our respective sports. We spent a lot of time hanging out and riding more together. Eventually, I realized how much I loved the bike and started competing.” And compete he has. He has participated as a racer in the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race about nine times.
This year’s Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race organizers expect between 500-600 participants. Past participants included up-and-coming cycling professionals Svien Tuft (2006-2007 UCI American Tour winner), Tour de France participant Tyler Farrar and the 2004 US National Road Race Champion, Thomas Peterson who now rides professionally for Garmin-Barracuda. Tuft won the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race in 2005 and 2007.
Perfectly partnered as a fundraiser for Washington Special Olympics, it is a demonstration of strength and endurance. It begins on Saturday with a 10 kilometer time trial and criterium (30 minutes) and ends on Sunday with a 44 mile road race. The total prize purse is $10,000.00 and will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category. The Kids Race, which provides a great opportunity for young riders to get a start in racing, is a criterium on Saturday afternoon.