Cycling legend Steve Tilford killed in car crash on Interstate 70 west of Grand Junction
Steve Tilford was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2000
Mountain biking and cyclocross legend Steve Tilford, 59, was killed early Wednesday in a crash on Interstate 70 in eastern Utah.
According to an entry on Tilford’s blog, posted by his friend Vincent Davis, Tilford was eastbound on I-70, heading back to Davis’ home in Denver, when the van he was driving plowed into and through a semi-trailer that had overturned and was blocking the highway. Davis, who was a passenger in the van, reported the two were injured but OK after the accident. According to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune, a second semi-trailer crashed into the wreckage as Tilford stood outside his van, killing him shortly after midnight Wednesday morning. The driver of the second semi-trailer, Stanley Williams of Grand Junction, also died of his injuries.
Tilford won the first-ever U.S. mountain biking national title at the NORBA Nationals in California in 1983. A young talent from Kansas who started racing bikes at age 14, he represented the U.S. National Road Team as a teenager before trying mountain biking. The NORBA race in 1983 was his first-ever mountain bike race. He was a pioneer in cyclocross, winning four U.S. National Cyclocross titles. He returned to mountain biking in the 1990s and won the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships Masters race in Quebec in 1998 and repeated the feat with a second masters title in the 2000 world championships. As one of the few athletes to successfully transfer from road racing to mountain biking, he was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2000.
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