2021 marked the nineth edition of Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a three-day gravel stage race hosted by world champion endurance athlete and Liv Ambassador Rebecca Rusch in her own backyard of Ketchum, Idaho. After the success of last year’s virtual RPI, this year participants were still given the option of competing remotely or traveling to Sun Valley to compete against some of the world’s top gravel athletes on Rusch’s favorite gravel routes.
Last year, Crystal Anthony took home top honors in the virtual RPI with Serena Bishop Gordon finishing close behind in second. This year, both of the Liv Racing Collective athletes made the trip to Idaho. The race kicked off on Thursday, September 2 with a 43-mile “adventure day.” With a completely off-road course consisting of 40 percent singletrack, 40 percent non-motorized path, 20 percent gravel road, and 3,711 feet of climbing, Gordon put her mountain bike prowess to use to score third for the day. Unfortunately, Anthony had a last-minute mechanical which kept her from starting with the rest of the field. After 20 minutes, her bike was still without a derailleur but she decided to go for it anyway and completed the stage in one gear, finishing 13th among the pro women.
The second stage consisted of 100 percent gravel, straight up a mountain. The short 4.5-mile stage would be no easy task and racers had to ride 45 miles to get to start and back, totaling just over 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Anthony rode her way back toward the sharp end of the race, finishing the climb in fourth with a time of 27 minutes and 29 seconds. Gordon finished just four seconds off the pace of her teammate in fifth. After a 20-mile optional “fun ride” on Saturday, Sunday was the big day. The Baked Potato is a 102-mile course with 5,295 feet of elevation gain and 90 percent gravel road traversing the historical land of the Shoshone-Bannock people. Anthony continued to battle back from her misfortune on day one to finish third on the stage and sixth overall. Gordon finished close behind to score fourth for the day and third in the Queen’s Stage Race.
“Each stage was unique, challenging and suited different rider’s strengths,” said Gordon. “Racing with Crystal on Sunday made me want to do more races with her, she’s strong, confident, and an excellent teammate.”