If you’re not familiar with these events, the BWR draws over 3,000 participants for a mixed surface ride (about 60% road and 40% gravel). The event draws people from all over the country, including some very fast pro’s, including our very own Sarah Max, who was competing against a stacked women’s field on her brand new RM3. The BWR reminded us of how great the cycling community is and how great it is to participate in such a fun event.
The reality of riding 140 miles is a little hard to wrap your head around, so the best way to digest a distance like this is to break it down into distinct sections, such as climbs, sandy areas, gnarly descents, and distances to go. Fortunately, the chosen route allowed us to scout the back-half of the race as we were riding the first half. The course was almost like an out and back with a couple of fun loops thrown in there. Throw in a half dozen aid stations, a salty dirty kit and bike and next thing you know, you’re standing at the finish line some 9 hrs later. Pretty easy, right?
One thing we learned about gravel racing (eventing) is that it’s difficult to really know what place you’re in and it’s also difficult to read the race, tactically speaking. As the ride unfolds, the countless stories of mechanical mishaps, crashes, punctures, GPS failure, and good ole cramps blend themselves into a fabric of the story and legend of gravel racing, each rider on their own journey, ride, or race.
So, how did it go, you ask? Yes, well, it went about as good as expected. Sarah Max, one of our long time How did it go, you ask? It went well! Sarah Max, one of our long-time sponsored riders, killed it, coming in 4th place in the women’s pro category, just getting nudged out by World Tour rider Tiffany Cromwell. Out of the top ten pro women, Sarah is probably the only one traveling back to NYC to work her day job for Morgan Stanley as a financial writer. It takes class to battle the world’s best, walk over and shake hands after 8 hrs in the saddle, as if nothing has happened and then hop a plane back to Wall Street the very next day and head to work. We felt honored to see Sarah and the Argonaut brand standing on the podium with some of the largest brands in cycling.
As for the rest of Team Argonaut, we held our own with Cory coming in top 55 and Ben and Alex rounding out the top 200. More than anything, the opportunity to get out and enjoy a biking event on our RM3’s was a true privilege and one we won’t take for granted any time soon.