Local to race in Trans-Provence competition
Special to the Daily
It’s the middle of winter in Vail, and Justin Gompf, having put his son to bed, was searching for information on summer mountain bike races on his computer. Gompf took a shot in the dark and decided to apply for the Trans-Provence mountain bike race held in France each year, a race he’d been reading about for years.
To his surprise, Gompf was driving to work one day this spring and received an email on his phone.
“My wife responded right away without even reading it because we were so excited that I’d been accepted,” Gompf said.
Gompf will be among an elite crowd from around the world — each year almost 400 racers submit applications and only 25 professionals and 60 amateurs will actually receive invitations.
When asked why he wanted to try out for this race, Gompf laughed.
“I don’t know, maybe a mid-life crisis,” he said.
Gompf has been the assistant golf course superintendent at the Vail Golf Club for 10 years. From June 17 to 24, he will take his mountain bike racing skills to France to compete in the Trans-Provence mountain bike race.
The Trans-Provence mountain bike race is an enduro-style race beginning in Embrun, France and ending in Menton, France. The event is a six-stage, point-to-point race covering 168.4 miles and 30,000 feet of climbing. Enduro-style means that Gompf will be racing through 24 timed stages throughout the six days in France. During this event, Gompf will be required to support himself throughout the competition, meaning he will not have a crew alongside him.
The Vail Recreation District is extremely proud of Gompf on being selected to participate in the Trans-Provence mountain bike race.
“We are very proud of Justin to represent himself, VRD, and his family,” said Executive Director Mike Ortiz.
“We appreciate that he has a work-life balance that allows for him to do this … It takes a lot of courage to go across the world to do a 170 mile race, and he’s a great asset to the rec district. We wish him the best of luck.”
The Vail Recreation District will hold a fundraiser in Gompf’s honor to help him offset a portion of the expenses for the trip.
The benefit will be held at Bart & Yeti’s in Vail on Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. For $10, attendees will receive a beer and a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes.
“I am so surprised at all the attention I have gotten from this, and I am very grateful for the help and support I have received,” Gompf said.