Adam Roberge secured the elite men's victory at Garmin Gravel Worlds held in Lincoln, Nebraska and set a new course record for men with a time 16 seconds under the seven-hour mark.
The Canadian covered the 150-mile route in 6:59:44, 14 seconds better than runner-up John Borstelmann, a Nebraska native who earned his third podium in a row, but could not repeat his 2021 victory. Peter Stetina finished 6:48 back in a time of 7:06:32.
Beginning in early-morning darkness, Gravel Worlds rolled for 150 miles across farmlands in the centre of the US, first north from Lincoln and then to the west, and picked up 10,500 feet of vertical gain along the way. No, south-eastern Nebraska is not flat.
Roberge said his ‘priority is gravel’ after finishing outside the top 50 at Leadville Trail 100 MTB a week ago as part of the Life Time Gran Prix race series. Riding the weekend doubleheader with SBT GRVL the next day, he finished 14th at the gravel race, one minute and three spots behind Borstelmann. Stetina also completed the Leadboat Challenge, his best placing eighth at Leadville.
The podium trio pushed the pace for a select group of less than 15 riders once the first third of the course was covered. The combination of the high pace and the unrelenting rollers reduced the lead group to five riders with 50 miles to go. Roberge did not stop at the last feed zone and pushed ahead to hold off Borstelmann, who lost 20 seconds with a wrong turn and correction on the course.
“After a good 100km of excellent group chemistry, I was first coming out of the last feed zone. I decided to try to keep that gap by going solo. I was finally able to win a 40km drag-race to the finish again,” Roberge recounted on social media following the race.
Stetina noted that the Nebraska “course profile looks like a fine toothed saw blade”. At his inaugural appearance at Gravel Worlds, Stetina was officially third in the men’s full course, but acknowledged he was 'tandem'd' for fourth among all riders, finishing a few minutes behind the Dutch duo visually-impaired Paralympian Tristan Bangma and his pilot Patrick Bos.
“A tandem infiltrated the front group. And not just any tandem, a world championship and record breaking pair from the Netherlands. It morphed the entire race and the tactics and it was AWESOME. That’s a beauty of mass start, anything can happen and I guess you can say I got tandem’d,” Stetina said on his Instagram feed.
Bangma, a two-time Paralympics gold medalist in men’s 1km time trial B (2016) and men’s individual pursuit B (2021) - raced in Nebraska fresh off a pair of gold medals in Canada at the Para-cycling Road Worlds earlier in August, where he was piloted by Bos to wins in the time trial and road race.
|Rider Name (Country) Team
|Sule Thomas Kangangi
|Andrea De Silvestris
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