Saturday’s Belgian Waffle Ride Cedar City was Crystal Anthony’s first major gravel race and Kaysee Armstrong’s first in-person race since the TransAndes Challenge in January. The Liv Racing athletes faced 125 miles of mostly gravel roads with some technical singletrack sections thrown in. The course climbed about 6,000 feet at an average altitude of 5,800 feet and twisted through the desert near Zion National Park.
A hectic four-mile “neutral” start led to a few crashes right off the bat. Both Anthony and Armstrong avoided getting caught up in the early crashes, but the commotion split the Liv Racing riders into different groups. Anthony made her way into a large lead group, where she road for the first 20 miles.
“We traversed all kinds of terrain: rolling gravel roads, double track, and long sand sections reminiscent of cyclocross,” said Anthony. “I managed to hold together through the final four miles of single track to the finish for third place. It was a great day; I felt I could push myself and suffered no mechanicals.”