Leadville trail 100 racer pleads guilty in bib swap case
EAGLE COUNTY – A Vail area woman accused of using another racer’s bib in the Leadville 100 last year won’t go to jail.
Wendy Lyall, 35, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge Monday in Lake County District Court, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said. The charge is third degree criminal trespass.
Lyall’s sentence was deferred for one year as long as she meets certain conditions, Hurlbert said. Lyall must take bicycle safety education and write a letter of apology to the race organizers and community, Hurlbert said.
“As long as she does what we ask and stays clean, it will drop off her record,” he said.
Lyall could face up to 6 months in county jail if she violates the conditions of the deferred sentence, he said.
Originally, Lyall had been charged with criminal impersonation, a felony that could bring up to 18 months in prison. That charge was dropped in a plea bargain Hurlbert reached Monday with Lyall’s attorney.
“I think, given the crime, given the fact that she had as spotless criminal history, this is a fair agreement,” Hurlbert said.
Lyall’s attorney, Terry O’Connor, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
The other Vail area woman involved in the alleged bib swap, Katie Brazelton, 40, is set to appear in court June 7. She also faces a criminal impersonation charge.
Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville 100, has said he pulled some strings to get Brazelton an entry into the popular bicycle race, which occurs each August.
“Then, apparently, for whatever reason, she decided that she didn’t want to race, and Wendy Lyall raced under her name,” Chlouber said earlier.
Lyall raced in the 40- to 49-year-old division, and placed second, earning a gold pin and a silver belt buckle, Chlouber said.
One of the women – it’s not clear which – stood on the podium and accepted prizes in front of 700 to 1,000 people, Chlouber said.
“One of them had the audacity to stand up in front of all those people knowing they had cheated,” he said.
Chlouber said he’s satisfied with the plea bargain, noting he never intended for the women to go to jail.
“All I’ve asked for is a complete explanation so, hopefully, we can prevent that sort of thing from happening again,” he said.
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