In the ethereal mountain town of Steamboat Springs, an event known as SBT GRVL would bring in a new era for gravel cycling. On the weekend of August 17-18, 2019, some 1,500 riders representing every US state made their way to northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley. With promises of a welcoming community, pristine gravel roads and a star-studded field, SBT had seemingly everything one would expect from a world-class gravel event.
Traditionally our most prestigious gravel races like DK200, RPI, BWR or LR100 have taken several years of sustained growth from their grassroots beginnings to attract the best talent, top brands and the media’s attention. SBT GRVL managed to do these things in its very first rodeo, among the seemingly hundreds of other gravel events across the US.
Under the leadership of Mark Satkiewicz, Ken Banesh and Amy Charity the race was presented by Canyon Bikes, and sponsored by numerous other well-known brands including Panaracer, Orange Seal, GU Energy and Mavic among others. Perhaps most striking about this event was the number of female participants, who made up nearly 30% of registered riders. Pro athletes included Brodie Chapman (overall female winner), Lauren Stephens, Sarah Sturm, Ella Harris and Tiffany Cromwell. A deep and talented field of male riders included Ted King (overall male winner), Colin Strickland, Payson McElveen, Jeremiah Bishop and Simon Richardson.
Fortunately the event delivered on its sky high expectations with a wonderful host city, remarkable diversity and some of the finest gravel roads we’ve ever ridden. The entire weekend and race itself was extremely well organized and a blast to participate in for gravel enthusiasts and racers alike. The undeniable success of SBT GRVL in its very first year not only gives new credence to gravel, but sets itself apart as the leading edge of American bike racing.
We hope you enjoy our 2019 SBT GRVL Photo Gallery and further commentary below. All images courtesy SBT GRVL.
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