What drew elite riders to SBT GRVL? Sure, there’s the challenging course, beautiful scenery, and great spot on the calendar. But for some, the $28,000 in prize cash was more than enough motivation to race.

The 2019 gravel season saw a series of near misses for gravel racer and ambassador Ted King. Although King managed to stand on the podium in most of the races he entered, the top step seemed painfully out of reach. In August, just a week after a top-15 finish at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, King finally found the win he was looking for at a brREAD MOREand new gravel event in Steamboat Springs, the SBT GRVL.

“Winning [SBT GRVL] really capped off the season, especially since it was such a massive event in its inaugural year,” King said. “I had it planted on my calendar all season long, so having that success late in the year was perfect.”

While King has a surfeit of gravel events to draw comparison from, former road cycling national champion Alison Powers showed up at SBT GRVL on the opposite end of the spectrum. The event was her first and only gravel race to date, and while she too came for the win, her motivation was based less on a season of near-misses and more on something cold, hard, and fast.