Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

June 17, 2013

Gottwald wins Roubaix

CEDAR — Forty is the new 30. Or 20.

And also the decade of choice for Cherry-Roubaix road race champions this year.

Chris Gottwald, a 42-year-old from Richland, and 41-year-old Dori Leib claimed the men’s and women’s professional championships at Sunday’s Cherry-Roubaix road race.

Each pocketed $500 in prize money for their efforts.

Leib plans on using the $1,000 she made this weekend — she also won Saturday’s Old Town Criterium — on a new bike.

Gottwald said he plans on donating his split — after dividing some of it among his teammates — to a charity.

“I like to give me race winnings away to Active Water, which is for the global water crisis,” said Gottwald, who rides for Team Priority Health. “I’m 42 years old, and I’ve won dozens of races. I’m a dad, a husband, a pilot. I’m not doing this for another win. I’m doing this to use my God-given talent and show people that there’s people in need.”

Activewater.org is a Portage-based charity that builds wells and sand filters in third-world countries.

“It’s something I’m pretty passionate about,” Gottwald said. “Especially us cyclists, we drink water like it’s nothing in this country. We’re so far removed from that. But when you realize a child dies every 15 seconds under the age of 5 someplace in the world because they don’t have clean water, it’s like, ‘Dude, do you think you can drill it for four hours like I did today so a guy can have a clean drink of water?’”

A Farmington Hills resident, Leib said her kids are already clamoring for the cash.

“My kids want presents and iPhones,” Leib chuckled. “I told them I was going to buy a new track bike.”

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