The second edition of SBT GRVL got underway Sunday in the early morning light high in the Rockies, less than 18 hours after many racers had finished the Leadville Trail 100 MTB.
Veteran photographer Linda Guerrette was zipping around the course outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to capture the action and the scenery. Enjoy her work below.
Alex Howes outsprints Ian Boswell and Pete Stetina for the win in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Tiffany Cromwell traveled to Colorado from the Tokyo Olympics to take her second-ever start at a gravel race. She finished eighth.
Lauren Stephens and Crystal Anthony in the early portion of the race. They would go on to finish second and fourth, respectively.
SBT GRVL had four courses. The 142-mile Black course started at 6:30 a.m., with men and women racing together, as is the custom for most gravel races.
Payson McElveen leads Pete Stetina through some singletrack. The pair were neck-and-neck in the LeadBoat Challenge coming into SBT GRVL, but wheel issues took McElveen out of the lead group later on in the day.
Scott Tietzel was all smiles after completing the LeadBoat Challenge — and his tenth Leadville Trail 100 MTB.
Emily Newsom and Anthony early on. Newsom got tangled up in a crash in a farm field with Eddie Anderson, who went to the hospital for stitches. Newsom hit her head, but remounted and went on to finish sixth.
After the second KOM/QOM of the day, the front group was down to about 50 riders.
There were six aid stations on course, and outside feeds were not allowed. So, riders had to decide for themselves how much water to carry and how, and when to stop.
About 70 percent of SBT GRVL is on gravel. And much of that gravel is relatively smooth, on dirt roads treated with magnesium chloride.
Race owner Amy Charity added a new section through Fetcher Ranch, with singletrack, doubletrack, and a little stream crossing.
Lauren De Crescenzo celebrates her win in the finishing chute.
This is the field section where Anderson got tangled in barbed wire and Newsom hit her head.
Stephens and De Crescenzo were the only women to make the front group on the second KOM/QOM.
De Crescenzo navigates the stream crossing in Fetcher Ranch.
Behind De Crescenzo and Stephens, a group of women chased, including Sofia Gomez Villafane, Whitney Allison, Anthony, Flavia Oliveira, and Newsom.
De Crescenzo and friends ride through the farm field.
Ian Boswell and company on a stretch of what Charity calls Steamboat Springs’ “Gucci gravel.”
More than 1,000 of the races’ 3,000 participants did the Black course. Cinch team director Tom Danielson had his riders at the start at 5:30 a.m. to line up at the front.
2019 winner Ted King congratulates Howes at the finish.
Coming into Cow Creek, the last gravel sector of the day, the race was down to six riders: Stetina, Boswell, Howes, Russell Finsterwald, Adam Roberge, and Freddy Ovett. Coming out of Cow Creek, it was just Stetina, Boswell, and Howes.
The new sector through Fetcher Ranch added a nice twist on the course terrain and scenery.
Allison and Gomez Villafane in pursuit.
The front group stayed at about 40 riders until the final big climb of the day at the bottom of the course, a 5-mile slog that came around mile 100.
“I exited Cow Creek with a five-second gap on Ian and Alex,” Stetina said. “They got up to me, and — Alex, we were groomsmen in each others’ weddings, and I’m really close with Ian nowdays — we were like, ‘yes, this is it.’ We collaborated and pushed it to the line.”
The first few miles were fast and dusty in the early morning light.
De Crescenzo had plenty of time to celebrate her win.
Oliveira was third behind De Crescenzo and Stephens.