With hometown hero and perennial King of the Mountain champion Cory Lockwood skipping the California Tehachapi Gran Fondo this year, another Tehachapian, Ethan Zehr, stepped up to stake his claim and win the 2019 KOM title.
20-year old Zehr completed the KOM climb from Keene past the world famous Tehachapi Railroad Loop in 22:05, with Andrew Garber 2nd at 25:54 and Scott Redding 3rd at 26:05.
Jessica Wheeler won the women’s Queen of the Mountain competition in 33:27 followed by Maria Barnett at 40:35 and Rachel Fredericks at 42:44.
Both Wheeler and Zehr were also overall winners out of 119 riders completing the 100-mile gran fondo. Wheeler finished in 6:23:14, while Zehr clocked a speedy 4:46:01, including changing a flat.
“It was a great course and a lot of fun,” Wheeler told the Tehachapi News. “I like it because it is a little bit smaller. We have done Mammoth and Solvang, but this one was cozy.”