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The Mid South: Payson McElveen defends his title in the mud

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McElveen celebrates his win

McElveen celebrates his win (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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Rain at the race start

Rain at the race start (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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Riders at the race start

Riders at the race start (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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The peloton heads out into the rain

The peloton heads out into the rain (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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Riders on the course

Riders on the course (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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A group tackles the dirt out on route

A group tackles the dirt out on route (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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McElveen celebrates after the race

McElveen celebrates after the race (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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The men's podium

The men's podium (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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Second place finisher Colin Strickland

Second place finisher Colin Strickland (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)
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Muddy bikes at the finish

Muddy bikes at the finish (Image credit: Jessica Alexander)

Payson McElveen successfully defended his title at The Mid South gravel race in Oklahoma Saturday, surviving a wet day of attrition on the muddy rural roads to claim the win in Stillwater.

The predicted rain in the Stillwater area – and an accompanying lightning strike – arrived in time to delay the start of the 160km race by half an hour, but it didn’t deter the enthusiasm of the hardiest souls while the mud of rural Oklahoma roads awaited. As the rains poured, the mud thickened, and power was going to be the featured asset of the day.

A group of six that included 2019 winner McElveen and Dirty Kanza reigning champion Colin Strickland eventually formed on the front as the conditions ensured a race that simply wore down competitors or knocked them out with flats and mechanicals.

Peter Stetina appeared to have an advantage after an early attack but fell victim to the mud when his ride developed issues that allowed McElveen and Strickland to pass the former WorldTour rider.

It was the defending champion who eventually outlasted the horde and his two fellow survivors to seize another victory back in Stillwater.

Brief Results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Payson McElveen 6:23:05
2Colin Strickland 0:09:24
3Jonathan Baker 0:10:55
4Peter Stetina 0:15:25
5Gordon Wadsworth 0:28:43
6Dennis van Winden 0:28:49
7Andrew Dillman 0:32:02
8Matt Acker 0:38:06
9John ShaleBriski 0:46:10
10Joey Sapp 0:47:01

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