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Peter Stetina wins men's Belgian Waffle Ride California

Peter Stetina
Peter Stetina (Image credit: Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder)

Peter Stetina (Let’s Privateer) defended his 2019 title at the Belgian Waffle Ride California on Sunday, pushing past a lead duo of Sandy Floren (Dirt Camp Devo) and Russell Finsterwald (CLIF Pro Team) over the final large climbs on the 212-kilometre course. 

“Coming back, winning it was, honestly, mostly relief. Coming in as defending champion there’s a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of expectations, there’s a lot of media obligations. Canyon, my bike sponsor, is the title sponsor of the event. I put a lot of pressure on myself. To deliver, it makes it that much sweeter,” said Stetina, woh finished three minutes, 13 seconds ahead of Floren and 3:35 ahead of Finsterwald. 

Like 2019, the two-time champion said he would donate part of his winnings to develop local trails with San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

Stetina survived mechanical issues and hot temperatures over the new course, with 3,352 metres of climbing and 80.5 kilometres of off-road segments. Now in its 10th year, the Belgian Waffle Ride California includes single-track, sandy trails and roughly paved roads across North County near San Diego with the start/finish in San Marcos.

“This is gravel racing and I don’t think anybody has a clean run out there. So I dealt with some mechanical stuff. The wash boards on Black Canyon were pretty turbulent, it had me seeing red after that. I made some contacts, slammed a gel and decided it was game on,” said Stetina.

He used a tough climb on the dirt section of Questhaven to break out of a three-ride group to make his move on the leading duo of Floren and Finsterwald and hold on across Double Peak, with its 23 per cent gradient with less than 16 kilometres to the finish.

“We had kind of been marinating on the road a little bit and then that was the resurgence of the dirt sectors again. It’s time to see who’s wasted energy and who’s ready to play," Stetina said in the post-awards interview.

“I know Sandy very well and I know Finski [Finsterwald], they’re both mountain bike guys. There was no way I was going to take that singletrack with them on the downhills. So I knew I had to treat Questhaven to the top of Double Peak like one 20-minute climb and really make sure I had a sufficient gap to salvage it and it worked out.”

Stetina next travels to race in Iceland, and back-to-back Colorado competitions in mid-August at Leadville and Steamboat Springs.

The San Diego stop for the Belgian Waffle Ride begins the Triple Crown of Gravel Series. The second event is in Asheville, North Carolina, on August 21 and the final stop for the series is in Cedar City, Utah on September 25.

Full results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Stetina (Let's Privateer) 6:12:15
2Sandy Floren (Dirt Camp Devo) 0:03:13
3Russell Finsterwald (CLIF Pro Team) 0:03:35
4John Borstelmann (Panaracer/Factor p/b Bicycle X-Change) 0:04:27
5Stephen Vogel (Project Echelon) 0:09:17
6Payson Mcelveen (Orange Seal Off-road Team) 0:09:57
7Satoru Rokuta (Big Orange) 0:10:51
8Bryan Lewis (Cutaway USA)
9Nicholas Vilter (Team Viltronix) 0:15:24
10Tristan Uhl (Giant Factory Off Road Team) 0:20:02
11Ian Boswell (WAHOO) 0:21:32
12Logan Kasper (Flow formulas the black bibs) 0:30:38
13Brian Scarbrough (Competitive metals) 0:30:54
14Edward Anderson (Alpecin-Fenix) 0:31:56
15Colin Strickland (MeteorX Allied) 0:32:37
16Alexey Vermeulen (Q+M, North Peak Brewing, Commercial Capital Mortgage) 0:35:13
17Ethan Overson (CINCH ELITE) 0:36:26
18Eric Fischer (Specialized) 0:38:09
19Carl Decker (Giant Factory Racing) 0:38:13
20Tanner Ward (First Internet Bank) 0:40:01
21Tanner Smith (Hyland's) 0:40:46
22Ivan Gallego (Cyclocrossworld p/b Cannondale) 0:40:59
23Rudy Napolitano (Bahati Foundation RAAM Team) 0:43:59
24Mat Stephens (Lauf/Voler) 0:45:09
25Sean Kickbush (3T / Q+M) 0:46:55
26Jonathan Baker (Sonic Boom Pro Gravel) 0:48:44
27Miles Hubbard (Mike's Bikes) 0:50:32
28Cory Greenberg (Dauner Akkon Pro Cycling Team) 0:52:00
29Matt Mcloone (Total Civil Construction p/b Battley Harley-Davidson) 0:56:23
30Roman Kilun (Mike's Bikes) 0:58:05
31Matt Jablonski (Total Civil Construction p/b Battley H-D) 1:08:55
32Connor Ryan (Total Civil Construction p/b Battley Harley-Davidson) 1:09:44
33Ryan Standish (Orange Seal/Kenda/Ventum) 1:11:45
34Jerry Dufour (Dirt Camp Devo)
35Eric Bryan (Landback) 1:13:18
36David Michael Sweet (Eliel factory Team) 1:13:37
37Jeff Winkler (Winkler Cycling) 1:14:13
38Frederick Junge (FJCX) 1:16:14
39Brian Mcculloch (Big Wheel Coaching) 1:16:19
40James Walsh (Wattie Ink G.C.P) 1:17:44
41Travis Longfellow (Ride Bikes Bro) 1:19:59
42Colin Patterson (Voler Factory Racing p/b OVCB) 1:21:15
43Colby Greiner (Greiner) 1:24:07
44John Killeen 1:24:47
45Jonathan Cavner (Rodeo Pro Gravel) 1:32:41
46Jack Eisele (Boston University Cycling) 1:35:49
47Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins / Specialized) 1:36:43
48Jeff Wolfe (Cast a shadow) 3:07:24
49Ryan Mcclean (McDirty Racing) 3:19:46
50Brently Rousset 3:25:28

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