An Eldon High School graduate now living in Columbia was the first person to reach the first checkpoint in Saturday’s 150-mile Ozark Gravel Road Expedition through the Ozarks hills. He also was the overall winner. Tyler Cordia reached the top of a long, steep hill to arrive at the Tunnel Dam Garden Nursery shortly after 9 a.m. to signify completing one-third of the challenging ride. Right behind him was fellow Columbian Pierre Echasserieau, a native of France.
They were among about 100 bicyclists to take on the OGRE challenge, which drew riders from an 11-state area. OGRE kicked off what is known as Bonk Hard Riding’s 2013 Performance Series ― three discipline-specific races that focus entirely on biking, paddling or orienteering (sport that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain.) The expedition Saturday took riders through some of the most difficult back-road terrain in mid-Missouri including winding turns, low-water crossings, switchbacks and Ozark hills.