Ian Boswell came back from almost a minute down to finish second in SBT GRVL on Sunday. The American, who won Unbound Gravel earlier this summer, finished behind Alex Howes and one place ahead of Peter Stetina in a three-up sprint to decide the race in Colorado.
At one point Boswell found himself outside of the front group and chasing at close to a minute but a general regrouping occurred before a final selection was made. The leading group thinned out to five riders and then became three – Howes, Stetina, and Boswell – with around 12 miles remaining.
"It was a really positive experience and it was a really cool race. I didn't feel great until we hit 100 miles in and more and more I'm realizing that these events are about attrition," Boswell told Cyclingnews before the podium celebrations in Steamboat, Colorado.
"At one point I was out the back having gone through a single-track section and I was maybe 45 seconds to a minute down but in these races you just have to keep going because you never know when you're going to come back.
"It was a really sweet event with an awesome course. It was hard and like most of these events, it was a war of attrition. We probably had a group of 30 or 40 riders up until the climb at mile 90.
"That was a big group for such a fast course, but with these events people just hit their limits at one point. With the altitude at 8,000 feet, you're up there pretty high and you know if you have it pretty quick."
Both Stetina and Howes came into the 144-mile SBT race on the back of the highly demanding Leadville 100 on Saturday, but the pair linked up with Boswell and the three riders – who are friends off the bike – rode the final section of the SBT course together.
Boswell admitted that Howes was simply the fastest rider at the end of the gruelling race, and congratulated the EF-Education Nippo rider.
"The three of us were together with around 12 miles left once we came off the pavement. We have five or six before that. Pete pushed it on the downhill and then Alex went and then the three of us rolled into town together as from that point it was paved.
"Alex is the quickest on paper and in real life so it was cool to see him win. He's a good dude and both he and Pete rode Leadville yesterday so hats off to those two for backing it up two days in a row.
"It's awesome when the strongest rider wins and Alex was aggressive all day. He tried to move in the last 40 miles and got caught. We're all friends on and off the bike so when we rolled into town we were all happy to be there, so it was a fair race. Alex was the fastest in the sprint so happy to see him win."
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.