Brodie Chapman 1st, Lauren Stephens 2nd at SBT GRVL
In a commanding performance in her first-ever gravel race, Brodie Chapman won the SBT GRVL's 141-mile "Black Course" yesterday, with teammate Lauren Stephens finishing in 2nd overall. The race drew top riders from around the world for its classic setting on the scenic gravel roads surrounding Steamboat Springs and its sizable prize purse with equal payout.
Both Chapman and Stephens finished the 141-mile race, which included over 9,000 feet of climbing, in under 7 hours, with Chapman claiming the top place for women and 15th overall. Stephens, a veteran of gravel racing, experienced an untimely flat around 60 miles into the race and had to chase back to the field.
“The SBT GRVL Race was an awesome opportunity,” said Chapman. "Its really cool that we as professional road cyclists get to mix up our program with something as challenging and different as gravel racing. This was my first ‘official’ gravel race, and I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about what to expect out of myself, at altitude, coming from a block of European racing and not to mention the stacked and experienced gravel field here in the USA."
"I like long races, and I like gravel, so I was really looking forward to seeing how it would play out.
"My teammate Lauren Stephens was really well prepared, and this gave me so much confidence and calm, she knows the scene and is in really great shape.
“After Lauren got an untimely flat, I just rode with the leading men’s group as long as possible, following surges but also being conservative at every opportunity. Once I had a small working group, we rolled turns to the finish. It was a an awesome course, incredible landscapes and fantastic organisation.
“It was special to ride this race as a team, with everything from planning and speculating the days before the race, team mechanic support and being able to represent Team TIBCO -Silicon Valley Bank on the top step is extra special when it is at ‘home’ in the USA.”
“Yesterday was an exciting day,” said Lauren Stephens. “I’ve put a lot of energy into preparing for this race. I was devastated when I flatted 60 miles into the 140 mile race. But luckily I got back on the bike quickly with a little help from my husband, Mat. Knowing I had Brodie up the road with the front group of men, I settled into my own rhythm and focused on attempting to get back but also riding within myself. In the end Brodie took the win, and I took the overall QOM.”