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Sarah Max wins women's title at Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina

Sarah Max won the women's division of the Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina in dominant fashion Saturday in a time of 8:24:31. Rolling onto the grass at the finish line in Hendersonville in solo second 45 minutes later was Kaysee Armstrong. Carla Williams finished third, another five and half minutes back.

Fourth in the opening round of the series in San Marcos, California on May 2,  Max had not originally planned to travel to North Carolina from Unbound Gravel, but she made a last-minute change of plans that paid dividends. She recovered from an early flat to stay near the front of the race, then took charge about mid-way through the 129.5 miles, 52.3 miles of that on various gravel sectors.

"Because I decided to do this race on the way to the airport in Kansas, I didn’t have the right gearing to climb 13,000 feet in 130 miles and couldn’t find what I needed in Asheville. So one of the owners of @gravelo.workshop stripped his own bike to set me up," she revealed on her Instagram feed about changing plans to return to Oregon after finishing 10th in the Emporia 200-mile race.

"My dear friend Kaysee Armstrong drove from Knoxville to hang out with me and jump in the race—and she crushed it! Back home in Bend the team at Argonaut Cycles fast-tracked R&D for a new gravel bike I rode at Unbound and BWR, and it delivered. This would have been for naught without Alex Candelario’s training and encouragement."

One of the favourites in the event was Flavia Oliveira Parks, who finished second last year. After riding near the front to begin her 10-hour ride, Oliveira Parks suffered a puncture and a wrong turn on the course to end her quest for a podium, finishing 12th.

Results - women
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sarah Max 8:24:31
2Kaysee Armstrong 0:45:39
3Carla Williams 0:51:01
4Sarah Hill 1:05:40
5Kathleen Mitchell 1:06:23
6Emily Leonard 1:18:00
7Whitney Post 1:18:11
8Sofia Schugar 1:30:08
9Leila Husain 1:33:01
10Jennifer Real 1:35:58
11Maghalie Rochette 1:38:08
12Flavia Oliveira Parks 1:41:15
13Grace Chappell 1:42:05
14Katherine Sheridan 1:43:11
15Amelia Durst 2:00:44
16Lucie Kayser-Bril 2:23:52
17Isabella Hyser 2:30:14
18Lindsey Levin 2:35:44
19Naomi Haverick 2:39:30
20Stephanie Smith 2:58:03

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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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