Although Covid cancelled the TransRockies Gravel Royale stage race, Rebecca’s Private Idaho rolled on this year with its Queen’s Stage Race, and Rose Grant and Pete Stetina came out on top in the omnium after three stages in and around Sun Valley, Idaho.
Rebecca Rusch created her weekend of gravel racing to be inclusive in a variety of ways. For starters, riders have the choice of doing the whole stage race or just the single big event on Sunday, in which there are multiple distances. And this year, RPI included paracycle and non-binary categories.
Stage 1 on Thursday was ‘adventure day’ on the Galena & Harriman Trail, a 43mi stage with ample singletrack. Stage 2 on Friday was an uphill time trial, where everyone rode a 20mi neutral section together before blasting the uphill 4.5mi timed segment. Saturday was a free day of sorts, with an optional ride. And Sunday was the big day, the 102mi ‘Baked Potato’ stage 3 — where there were also shorter ‘French Fry’ and ‘Tater Tot’ distances.
On the first two stages Rose Grant (Juliana-SRAM) and Moriah Wilson (FAFL-Sportful) traded the top two women’s podium spots while Pete Stetina (‘Just here for the gelande quaffing’) and Colin Strickland (Meteor-Allied) were first and third respectively on both days. Sunday saw some fresh legs in the group, with Grant and Wilson tied for the overall in the points-based omnium.
On stage 3, the pace was hot up the Trail Creek climb right out of the gate, despite the cold temperatures, and most of the race dynamic was set from this challenge early on.
On the women’s side, Wilson went out hard to get a gap over Grant on the 25-minute climb. Over the next few miles, Grant chased back in a small group to reconnect with Wilson.
Through some technical bits of the section dubbed El Diablito, Grant was able to distance Wilson, who chased furiously just a few second behind. At day’s end, Grant took the win by seven seconds over Wilson with Crystal Anthony (Liv) a bit further behind. With the win, Grant took the overall with Wilson in second and Serena Gordon (Liv) in third.
On the men’s side, Stetina charged over the climb with Allan Schroeder and established a gap over the main chasing group that got up to 2:45. The chase group brought back the duo before El Diablito, where Griffin Easter attacked and was not to be seen again.
Behind, it was a sprint finish for the two pre-race favorites Stetina and Strickland, and the powerful Texan took it ahead of the climber. With his third place Stetina sewed up his omnium win ahead of Strickland and John Borstleman (Abus).
Stage 1 women
1. Rose Grant, 2:59:26
2. Moriah Wilson, 3:03:55
3. Serena Gordon, 3:08:45
Stage 1 men
1. Peter Stetina, 2:40:46
2. Joshua Berry, 2:43:22
3. Colin Strickland, 2:44:24
Stage 2 women
1. Moriah Wilson, 24:47.05
2. Rose Grant, 26:30.52
3. Lauren Cantwell, 27:21.08
Stage 2 men
1. Peter Stetina, 21:04.25
2. Stephen Mull, 21:56.35
3. Colin Strickland, 22:59.78
Stage 3 women
1. Rose Grant, 5:23:41
2. Moriah Wilson, 5:23:48
3. Crystal Anthony, 5:26:52
Stage 3 men
1. Griffin Easter, 4:50:35
2. Colin Strickland, 4:52:12
3. Peter Stetina, 4:52:13
1. Rose Grant (Juliana-SRAM), 1490 points
2. Moriah Wilson (FAFL-Sportful), 1480
3. Serena Gordon (Liv), 1417
1. Peter Stetina (Just here for the gelande quaffing), 1490 points
2. Colin Strickland (Meteor-Allied Racing), 1462
3. John Borstelmann (Abus), 1409
1. Apollo Leonard, 1500 points
2. Henry Watts (Spice Mice), 1470
3. Bethel Steele, 1443
1. Megan Fisher (Salsa-SRAM-Gore)
1. Josh Sweeney