Rebecca’s Private Idaho, the brainchild of Liv ambassador and athlete Rebecca Rusch, took place September 4-6 inviting riders from all over the world to participate in the virtual race. Participants in the Queen’s Stage Race were required to complete a route of their choosing that consisted of at least 50 percent gravel or dirt surfaces, 196 total miles over three days and 12,009 feet of elevation gain. Racers recorded their efforts over the weekend, submitted their Strava files, and the results were compiled.
When all was said and done, Liv Racing athlete Crystal Anthony finished first place overall with teammate Serena Bishop Gordon close behind. Anthony is an accomplished cross-country mountain bike racer and cyclocross racer, but RPI was her first major gravel race.
“Since moving to Arkansas, I’ve come to a new appreciation of gravel as its own sport,” Anthony said. “We have endless gravel roads here which test your climbing legs, bike handling through gnarly chunks of rocks, and your ability to be self-sufficient far into the wild.”
RPI 2020 presented many challenges for the racers, from designing their own courses to motivating and pacing themselves without knowing the position of the competition.
“It is hard to ‘race’ when it’s just you; not knowing how hard to go, how hard to push, especially with a 3-day, self-supported event,” said Gordon. “I focused on having fun, riding in my own backyard and riding strong and steady.”
“The challenge of designing the fastest course that met the surface, distance, and elevation requirements had me happily pouring over my ride maps and Strava heat map and trying dozens of different combos,” said Anthony.
Anthony completed her RPI course near her home in Bentonville, Arkansas in 11 hours 49 minutes, which totaled 200.55 miles and 12,826 feet of elevation gain. Gordon’s route consisted of 197 miles and 13,555 feet of climbing through her backyard near Bend, Oregon, which she completed in 12 hours 51 minutes. Both athletes raced aboard their new Liv Devote Advanced gravel bikes.
“The Devote proved to be amazing — fast on the descents, efficient on the climbs,” said Anthony. “It was awesome that the Devote held the top two times overall, men or women.”
RPI 2020 benefited the The Be Good™ Foundation. This year, Private Idaho fundraising efforts supported projects and groups that foster diversity, equity and inclusion in cycling, such as Grow Cycling Foundation, The Bahati Foundation, World Bicycle Relief, and the League of American Bicyclists.