GRAVEL CYCLING NEWS | This year’s Big Sugar Gravel race was won by Russell Finsterwald on his own

GRAVEL CYCLING NEWS | This year’s Big Sugar Gravel race was won by Russell Finsterwald on his own

November 2, 2022 Off By seookbet


RACING OKBET : On Saturday, Russell Finsterwald took first place among professional men in the Big Sugar Gravel 2022 race in Bentonville, Arkansas. He finished 25 seconds ahead of Keegan Swenson, who came in second, and 31 seconds ahead of Adam Roberge, who finished in third.

Swenson finished the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda with a commanding lead over Alexey Vermeulen, who finished second in the series, and Saturday’s ride did little to threaten his grip on the top spot.

One kilometer before the finish, there was a lot of back-and-forth. I decided to simply go for it since I had nothing to lose. Finsterwald said, “I’m incredibly happy to come out on top tonight.” With the win, Finsterwald climbed to third position in the series standings.

Beginning in April with his triumph against Finsterwald in the Fuego 80K MTB at the Sea Otter Classic, Swenson went on to win four of the six races and the overall championship.

It was quite challenging right from the get. I spent the whole day on full throttle. It became an all-out war of survival. Many folks were flat and others were just busting up. It was gradually reduced,” Swenson reflected.

Since both Russell and I were at ease on the sloppy descents, we took turns putting the pedal to the metal to make things as difficult as possible. For the most part, we relied on our strengths.

Here’s how it all went down

The starting and finishing points of the 104.1-mile course were located in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, and the route went west and north into southern Missouri.

The organizers of the LifeTime Grand Prix series created one of the most difficult gravel courses by including a 7,000-foot elevation rise on infrequently maintained gravel roads with a loose rock composition, a few river crossings, and bridges.

Under a thick layer of clouds and with 20 mph winds coming in from the south, which would turn into a headwind for the finish, the peloton headed out towards the undulating hills of the Ozark mountain scenery.

Keegan Swenson, the series leader, was joined by Russell Finsterwald, Logan Owen, John Borstelmann, and Peter Stetina in a small group throughout the first 15 kilometers of the race.

Michael Garrison, Cole Paton, Lachlan Morton, Griffen Easter, Bradyn Lange, Alex Howes, Jordi Meeus, Adam Roberge, Brennan Wertz, Nicholas Roche, and Alexey Vermeulen joined the lead group at 20 km.

At the confluence of Little Sugar Creek and Big Sugar Creek near Pineville, Missouri, mile 37.7, the Elk River was formally marked. Paton, Borstelmann, Stetina, Roberge, Swenson, Vermeulen, Roche, Howard Grotts, Owen, Howes, Easter, and Finsterwald were among the 12 riders that settled into the lead group over the following 15 kilometers.

Borstelmann went on a solo assault in the latter stages of the race, increasing his lead over the chasing group by over two minutes. A local brewery in a little town less than five miles from the return over the Arkansas border propelled the cyclists into the forecasted headwind as they approached the second checkpoint at mile 73.8. However, just before the checkpoint, Borstelmann had a flat tire while swerving to avoid another racing car.

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The quintet of Finsterwald, Swenson, Roberge, and Vermeulen, later joined by Howes and Roche, swiftly swept aside that lead and altered the complexion of the race.

The day belonged to Borstelmann. The race was only getting started when he had a flat on a huge rock block at the foot of a two-track. I doubt he would have made it to the end, but he would have played in the final, Vermeulen said.

When there were just ten miles left to go, the six split into two groups. Swenson and Finsterwald attacked on every downhill stretch of the closing kilometers. Finsterwald won thanks to a clever gambit within Bentonville municipal boundaries.

Vermeulen said, “I had nothing left at that time, I was simply playing my cards,” adding that the wind also had a significant part in attrition. We had some extremely wild winds. Further, Russell stood to benefit greatly. After a tough season, he finished third in the Grand Prix.


Big Sugar Gravel

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