Haley Smith takes women's win at Crusher in the Tushar

Haley Smith has taken out the the third race of the Life Time Grand Prix series, claiming victory in the 69 mile (111km) Crusher in the Tushar with a solid margin of more than eight minutes.

The Canadian went out early with series leader and Unbound 200 winner Sofia Gomez Villafane, but then after Smith surged ahead to take the Col d’Crush QOM it was lights out for Gomez, who fell away from the lead group and battled to the line in eighth. That, however, was still enough to keep Gomez in the series lead, with 84 points, while Smith's victory at the climb heavy event across Utah's Tushar mountains put her just two points back in second.

“I didn’t know what I was going to be capable of, but I felt confident I could give it a good run,” said Smith. “It's a hard day to plan for nutrition, I didn’t want a hydration pack because of the heat so I only had two bottles and had to ration my water and at the end I think I was at my max effort with nothing else in the tank.”

Smith finished with a time of 4:56:23, while Red Bull Rio Grande Gravel winner Emma Grant came over the line in second place with a time of 5:05:02 as Sarah Sturm crossed just 40 seconds later. Recently retired professional road cyclist Ruth Winder was then only a little more than a minute back in fourth. 

The Crusher in the Tushar, which had a 60/40 gravel to tarmac split and featured 10,400 feet of climbing  (3,169m), marks the halfway point of the Life Time Grand Prix. The Sea Otter Classic Fuego MTB 80k and Unbound provided the first two rounds and the next race in the series is the Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Colorado on August 13.

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Results - Top Ten
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Haley Smith4:56:23
2Emma Grant5:05:02
3Sarah Sturm5:05:42
4Ruth Winder5:06:58
5Crystal Anthony5:11:05
6Anet Barrera Esparza5:13:02
7Hannah Otto5:14:09
8Sofia Gomez Villafane5:16:38
9Emily Newsom5:17:19
10Lindsey Stevenson5:20:22

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