This weekend saw two of Liv’s Off-Road athletes switch out their XC-crushing machines for ridged bikes with skinny tires. ‘Tis gravel and Cyclocross Season!
Kaysee Armstrong jetted off to Ketchum, Idaho last week to race Rebecca Rusch’s Private Idaho. New to the event this year would be a gravel stage race format, which was right up Armstrong’s alley. Stage 1 kicked off on Thursday, August 30 with 43 miles (69km) of singletrack, gravel road, and paths with nearly 3,500ft (1066 meters) of elevation gain. The next day followed with about 50 miles (80km) of gravel roads that was raced time trial-style over 3,000ft (915 meters) of elevation. But the real test came after a rest day on Sunday, when racers with tired legs took to the course affectionately known as the “Big Potato”. 93 miles (150km) and 4,730ft (1142 meters) of climbing on remote, mountainous gravel roads awaited.
Armstrong not only took the overall win on the inaugural 3-day Queen’s Stage Race, she also took the Big Potato victory against other riders with fresher sets of legs. However, the margin was tight – Armstrong took the “W” on the final stage by a mere three seconds after nearly five hours of racing.
Crystal Anthony raced on the eastern side of the United States at the Go Cross ProCX event in Roanoke, Virginia. The two-day race marked the first stop on the US Professional Cyclocross calendar for 2018. After a rough start during Saturday’s race that left her chasing the pack and ultimately finishing in third, Anthony seemed determine to write a different story on Sunday. She stormed to the front of the pack during the first lap and set the pace for the group.
“I was at the front and the race never blew up that much, the gaps were pretty small. You were like one watt away from cracking, because it was so hot. It was about balancing being aggressive with riding within yourself,” Anthony told CX Magazine.
Anthony left enough in the tank to fend off any attacks during the final lap and road to a comfortable win aboard her Brava SLR.