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Pete Stetina is a gravel racer, and a gravel racer promoter. For his Sept. 11 race, Stetina’s Paydirt, Stetina is offering a cash payout only for the women, and has time bonuses for things like riding a mechanical bull and lassoing a keg with a tire.
“Throughout my career the women raced early and got less exposure than the men, and I’ve thought about that, a lot,” Stetina said. “I can’t fix it alone, but if everyone who thought about equality in cycling did a little bit to try and fix it, things would change for the better. So we’re going to do what we can, and I hope it inspires others to do the same.”
Stetina partnered with Shimano for a $4,000 cash prize purse fo the top five women. Men will race for podium spots but no cash.
The race outside Carson City, Nevada heads up into the Pine Nut Mountain Range. It’s a 65-mile route with 4,600ft of elevation gain and two timed segments.
Registration is $165, which a portion of proceeds going to support the High Fives Foundation, a group that supports athletes who’ve experienced life-altering injuries. Working with Bike Monkey, Stetina’s event has raised more than $63,000 for High Fives over the years.
About those mechanical bull and keg lasso time bonuses…
Stetina raced under UCI rules for many years, but Stetina’s Paydirt is well outside the purvey of Aigle.
After the ride, Stetina has a couple competitions that will land a few riders prizes and time bonuses.
“Anybody that loses in a sprint but finishes on the same or similar time has a chance for redemption,” Stetina said. “The top step of the podium or the difference between you and your best friend may come down to whomever can stay on Wahoo’s Mechanical Bull the longest or successfully complete the IRC Tire Keg Lasso competition.”
Women in the hunt for the podium
As of today, Stetina’s Paydirt confirmed rider list includes Amity Rockwell, Maude Farrell, Kaysee Armstrong, Larissa Connors, Sarena Bishop Gordon, Kathy Pruitt, Andrea Dvorak, Christie Tracy, and Isabell King.
Notable names on the to be confirmed list are Katerina Nash, Heather Jackson, Sarah Sturm, Kristen Faulkner, Amanda Naumann, Jess Carra, and Alison Tetrick.
“I’m of the personal belief that more media exposure will lead to more participation, financial gain, personal exposure, and everything elite women racers deserve. So with that in mind we’ve decided to highlight the women’s event beyond the men’s,” Stetina said. “I hope this doesn’t put some guys off. Rather I hope a lot of my male colleagues are inspired to support our female counterparts and just enjoy the experiential course and boatload of beer at the finish. The will still be a podium, some prizes, and a damn good time for the men.”