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At Big Sugar Gravel, Moriah Wilson (Sportful) finally scored the win she’s wanted all season.
The Californian rode a blistering 100 mile race, finishing 12th overall. She was joined on the podium by Emily Newsom and Maddy Ward, who both ride for pro road team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank.
Wilson said that she started the race “a little off the back,” but worked her way up to the lead women’s group within the first few miles.
“And then I started to pick up the pace a little bit,” she said. “I’m usually someone who has a good second half of the ride. And, I knew the second half would have more climbing and I’m a climber.”
Wilson was able to overtake Maddy Ward (Tibco-SVB), who was leading the women during the first half of the race, when Ward and teammate Emma Langley split apart. Wilson dropped Ward on a road climb around mile 55 and said she “never looked back.”
Wilson’s win is sweetened by the fact that she has come very close to victory all season.
“I really wanted this one,” she said. “I wanted this one so badly, and was ready to go really, really deep.”
Like countless other racers, Wilson also had a puncture. She was nearly as proud of remaining calm while she plugged the tire as she was about her win.
Emily Newsom of Tibco-SVB finished second. The road pro has done half a dozen gravel races this summer, and is a huge fan of the discipline. While she wasn’t able to hang with the lead men’s group on the day, it ended up working out in her favor.
“I felt really good today, I paced it pretty well,” she said. “I really wanted to go with the lead men but I would have head to dig so, so deep, so I’m glad I didn’t. I did see people start to get popped off later on. I did what I thought I could maintain and tried to be smart.”
Newsom carried all her water and nutrition with her and did not stop at any aid stations.
Ward finished third.
Big Sugar Gravel women’s results
- Moriah Wilson, 5:30:57
- Emily Newsom, 5:32:10
- Maddy Ward, 5:49:52
- Emma Langley, 6:12:25
- Marisa Boaz, 6:16:37
Full results for the 2021 Big Sugar Gravel women’s race.