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When the field lines up for the Steamboat Gravel event — okay, okay SBT GRVL — on August 18, there will be some recognizable faces from across professional road, mountain, and cyclocross racing.

They won’t just be recognizable men’s faces. The inaugural SBT GRVL event is shaping up to offer one of the highest-profile women’s fields at any gravel race in 2019 — or ever.

Much has been made about men’s WorldTour teams competing off-road this year, including here in this column last October. Over the past weekend, Lachlan Morton (EF Education First), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Alex Howes (EF Education First) finished third through fifth at Leadville 100 behind mountain biker Howard Grotts (Specialized) and 18-year-old Quinn Simmons (Lux), winner of the Gent-Wevelgem junior race in March.

And while EF’s shift towards off-road, participant-focused events was a significant pivot from a Tour de France team, it’s happening on the women’s side of road racing as well.

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