By Betsy Welch

Regardless of Sunday’s results, SBT GRVL already has a podium-worthy statistic.

Women account for nearly 30 percent of registrants for the inaugural event, held this weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Indeed, this gravel race, which sold out in six days in early December, has generated considerable buzz amongst female riders.

“We always had a plan to showcase parity and race equality, but we didn’t know how initial registration would go” said Mark Satkiewicz, one of three partners involved in putting on the race.

The female inclusion is due to race management’s targeted efforts to attract women to the race. When the event opened its registration in December, mostly male riders signed up. According to race co-partner Amy Charity, the management team was initially disappointed in the low number of women who registered.