They call the dirt roads around Steamboat Springs, Colorado “Champagne Gravel” and for good reason.
When you ride these almost endless miles of mountain terrain you just feel like raising a glass and celebrating.
If you’ve ridden the chunk of Leadville or the loosey goosey tire-eating rocks and stones of MidSouth, or, lord forbid, toed up this year at Unbound where the rain turned those Kansas roads into brown oatmeal. then you can understand why riding the glorious, mostly hard-packed, smooth, golden terrain of Steamboat Gravel is so coveted and why the race sells out in minutes. It is the highlight of many a gravel racers season.
This years trip to our beloved Steamboat was lining up to be another perfect adventure, unfortunately Mother Nature decided to throw a wrench in everyone’s plan, in the shape of 90 plus degree temperatures and gusty winds making things extremely interesting out on the course.
Our very own Brennan Wertz went in the early break, gobbling up precious miles and excellent media exposure. But when the group came back together and the final break went up the road his early efforts, the heat and the pace meant he missed the final decisive break. Our man Skylar was having an amazing day out and was in all the big moves until late in the race when an unfortunate cramp at an unfortunate spot left dangling off the lead group, but fortunately he hooked up with Wertz and they were able to work together late in the race to secure Top 20 spots for both of them.
We also saw big smiles from both Kali athletes, Alyssa Mahoney and Sarah George, as they crossed the finish line at Steamboat Gravel for what will surely be remembered as a year of Type Two Fun, as you would have to be a little off your rocker to admit you really enjoyed those tempetkres and those headwinds out in the course.
But if you are thinking it is time to try your hand at a 100 plus mile gravel event we can truly recommend you get your name in the lottery for an amazingly well run race worthing of raising a glass of champagne (gravel).