Cyclists Making Big Names for Themselves

by | Jul 1, 2005 | News Articles

July, 2005 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Cyclists Making Big Names for Themselves

Forget Lance Armstrong for a minute. Carla Flores and Danny Pate are etching their own names in the cycling world today.

Let’s touch on Flores first. For the second consecutive year, the Puebloan dominated the women’s 45-49 age division of the Park City Cycling Festival that was held recently in Park City, Utah.

Flores captured first place in all three races, winning the 30-kilometer (18.6 miles) criterium in 47:50, the 53-mile road race in 2:34:40 and the 35K time trial in 52:16. She has now been the all-around champ in her bracket for two years in a row.

The nurse intern at Parkview Medical Center has a good explanation for the tremendous strides she has made in her training and performances the past two years.

“I’m much more positive in my mental preparation,” Flores pointed out. “Mentally, I’m just a different person now. And I’ve become much more aggressive” while racing.

This year, Carla, who rides for the Southern Mortgage Racing Team out of Boulder, took her approach one step further by getting a coach from Boulder Performance. The initial contact took place at the Velo Swap in Denver last fall, and Flores began following her coach’s workout schedule in February.

One of the main benefits of the training program is that she is getting more rest and is not overtraining. She feels that enabled her to eclipse her nationals performance from last year.

Realizing that her peak racing years are limited, Flores has one main goal left – to attend a world competition. While she has entered this year’s world event to be held late this month in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, she is more seriously thinking about competing in it next year, when funds may not be as tight.

Meanwhile, Pate is having an extraordinary year of his own. A former Puebloan now living in Colorado Springs, the 26-year-old previously raced overseas for a bit and was the Under 23 World Time Trial Champion in 2001.

Now, he’s riding on the U.S. circuit for the Jelly Belly/Pool Gel pro cycling team and experiencing tremendous success. Pate recently was the top sprinter and took second place overall in the 156-mile Wachovia USPRO Championship race in Philadelphia, barely edged while recording the same time of 6 hours, 1 minute and 16 seconds as the winner.

Previously, he rode to an eye-opening 18th-place finish in the six-stage Tour de Georgia. That’s noteworthy since it included top riders from all over the world, including many Tour de France participants and the U.S.’s Discovery Channel team. Among them was Armstrong, who was fifth overall while prepping for France.

A 6-foot, 155-pounder, Pate is known as a great time trialer and climber who likes to attack. He is on the cusp of even bigger cycling adventures in the future.


Triple Crown – Several area runners have positioned themselves for possible age division awards after the first two legs of the Triple Crown of Racing series. The series includes the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run, last Sunday’s Summer Roundup 12K and next month’s Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon.

The competition, always fierce because of sheer numbers and the quality of runners the Triple Crown attracts, is even tougher this year because it is the 50th anniversary of the marathon, and commemorative jackets are being awarded to all finishers of either the ascent or marathon.

Puebloans currently in the top three in their age brackets are Dave Diaz (2nd, 56), Jessie Quintana (2nd, 61), Carrie Slover (2nd, 52) and Sharon Vigil (3rd, 48), while Jeff Vaniwarden (24) of Cañon City also holds down third place. Former Puebloans Paul Koch, 37, of Colorado Springs leads his division while Chris Borton, 29, of Golden is second in his bracket and fifth overall among all racers.

Pioneer Run and Moonlight Madness – Runners have two chances to race nearby this month and test their ability to recover quickly since, coincidentally, both are on July 23. Colorado City’s Hollydot Golf Course will be the site of the Pioneer Run in the morning and the Moonlight Madness Prediction Run will take place in the evening, hopefully under a bright moonlight, at 3685 Verde Rd. (I-25 Exit 87).

Beulah Challenge – This popular, quality race is back on the calendar this year after being canceled by drought effects the past two years. But race director Karin Romero must be wondering if she is snake-bitten as Beulah residents were evacuated from their homes earlier this week because of the Mason Gulch forest fire. Assuming normalcy has returned by the Aug. 6 race date, runners and walkers will be treated to new courses, hand-crafted awards and a cool T-shirt design created by artist Jill Starkey and viewable on the Southern Colorado Runners’ web site. The Beulah Art Show, a free activity, will be taking place within walking distance of the race site.


Lake to Lake Triathlon – Puebloan Michael Orendorff, 53, was second in his age division and 33rd overall in the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon with a 2:30:34 time over a course that included a 1,500-meter swim, 29-mile bike and 10K run.

DAC Sprint Triathlon – In between the two Triple Crown races, Diaz and Slover won their age divisions of the Denver Athletic Club Triathlon at Cherry Creek State Park. Over the 880-meter swim, 22K bike and 5K run, Diaz clocked 1:23:44 and Slover 1:36:16.

Upcoming Pueblo-Area Races

  • July 23 – Pioneer Run, 5K run/walk, 7 a.m., Hollydot Golf Course in Colorado City (676-3353).
  • July 23 – Moonlight Madness (Prediction Series), 5M, 8 p.m., 3685 Verde Rd. (676-7343).
  • Aug. 6 – Beulah Challenge, 10K run & 3M walk, 8 a.m., Beulah School (485-3820.
  • Aug. 27 – Tunnel Drive Prediction Race, 5M, 7:30 a.m., Cañon City (784-6514).
  • Sept. 10 – Pueblo Tribute Run, 5K, 7 a.m., Elmwood Golf Course (549-7735.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at

Return to Gary Franchi’s running and fitness writings index page.