Two top mountain-bike racers face impersonation charges
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Two top Colorado mountain-bike racers face felony criminal-impersonation charges after allegedly cheating in last year’s Leadville Trail 100.
Veteran endurance athlete Wendy Lyall, 36, used Katie Brazelton’s entry number in the 2009 race, finishing second in the women’s age 40-49 class.
“It probably would have gone unnoticed except the woman who did race came in second in her age group, and in front of a thousand people, one of them went up and stood on the podium and accepted the award and accepted the trophy and the prizes that went with it,” race founder and organizer Ken Chlouber said.
Lyall has been charged with criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony. Brazelton, 40, will face the same charge, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said. Class 6 is the lowest felony charge.
“After talking with people in the race, this is something very serious,” Hurlbert said.
The investigation began after Chlouber received an anonymous tip that Brazelton may not actually have pedaled in the 100-mile race.
When contacted by Chlouber and, later, by Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte, the women confessed to the deception. They returned the coveted belt buckle, pendant and necklace that came with second place and sent Chlouber a letter admitting their wrongdoing and offering “to do anything to rectify the situation.”
“But the situation cannot be rectified,” Chlouber said. “You can’t go back in time and give those ladies who should have podiumed their time in the sun. That’s gone.”
Brazelton and Lyall could not be reached for comment.