Friday, May 11, 2018

2018 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Recap

Pikes Peak on an amazing weather day during the 2018 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, members of the RMCC ventured to Monument, CO to tackle the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, the RMCC's only true gravel event. The AntiEpic Gravel Grinder consists of 2 events: the mighty AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Double Century (i.e, 206-mile long course), which is one of the more intimidating events on the RMCC Challenge Series calendar, and the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Mini-Epic (i.e., short course), a 76-mile course that includes 5,600 feet of climbing in the form of short, but steep rollers. The weather was about as anti-epic as it gets, which always a good thing for riders attempting to complete an epic adventure on the bike! Participants were blessed with bright, sunny skies, comfortably temperatures, and light winds for the entire day! And perhaps for the first time in the history of the entire universe, long-course riders were blessed with tail winds (or light cross winds) in nearly every direction! Due to an unusually dry winter, the dirt and gravel roads to the east of Castle Rock and Monument were especially rugged this winter, strewn with miles of sand and wash board; however, during the week prior to the event, the area received nearly 2-3 inches of rain, muting the unusually rugged roads and smoothing out the course for this year's participants. The favorable weather conditions and the fast-rolling roads laid the foundation for the fastest times that we have ever witnessed on this course! Congratulations to all of this year's participants!


2018 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Short-Course

2018 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Long-Course

Video Slide Show: 2018 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder

  • Long course: 206 miles, 12,000 feet of climbing. Time limit: 22 hours. The long course was over 5 miles longer this year and included a 5+ mile detour around the notorious "B-road," CR 98, which has been permanently closed by Elbert County.
  • Short course: 76 miles, 5,600 feet of climbing. Time limit: 9 hours
Andrews Road drops into the Greenland Open Space, the first taste of gravel during the AntiEpic Double Century

Short Course:
  • 48 short-course ride starters, 47 official finishers (98% finishing rate) successfully completed the short-course in less than 9 hours (>8.4 m.p.h.), 1 DNF, 4 DNS. Of the riders who started, 41 men, 7 women.
  • Congratulations to Simon Phuah and Bret Wichert who finished together in a record-setting time of 4 hours, 7 minutes (average speed 18.5 mph). Simon and Bret's time was 2 minutes faster than the record set by Brad Mosier and Chris Beaudin in 2017.
  • Congratulations to endurance maestro, Janie Hayes, who finished tied for second overall with a time of 4 hours, 11 minutes, shattering the previous women's record Kimberly Ober (5 hours, 54 minutes, 2017). I have a hunch that Janie's record is going to stand for long time! 
Simon Phuah and Bret Wichert at the conclusion of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Short-Course.
Janie Hayes chases the lead group en route to her record setting ride! Janie is a true master of all distances! Janie was the 3rd overall finisher of the 2017 Trans Am Bike Race, a 4,300 mile unsupported road race from Astoria, Washington to York Town, Virginia, perhaps the most difficult road race on the planet! 
Long Course:
  • 22 long-course ride starters, including 12 Triple Crown rookies(!), 19 official finishers (86% finishing rate) successfully completed the long course in less than 22 hours (>9.4 m.p.h.), 3 DNFs. Of the riders who started, 20 men, 2 women. 
  • Congratulations to Nicholas Kulesa, who posted a blistering time of 12 hours, 27 minutes. Due to a support mishap, Nicholas was given a 14 minute time credit, so his official finishing time is 12 hours, 13 minutes (16.9 mph)...not too shabby his first double century, and a gravel double century at that! 
  • Congratulations to Oksana Kovalenko, who posted the fastest women's time of the day in 16 hours, 28 minutes (12.5 m.p.h.). Oksana and Laura Furey, who finished later in the day, are the only two women to have ever finished the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder long-course! Congratulations to both of you! 
Nicholas Kulesa and Jeremiah Gantzer had blistering days on the bike, posting times that have never been seen before on the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder course! Great ride, guys! 
Oksana Kovalenko with Triple Crown veteran, Ray Rupel, and Triple Crown rookie, Dustin Harding, at the end of an AntiEpic day.
Adam Kazilisky becomes the only rider to have ever completed the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder on a single speed! To give credit where it's due, Adam is also somewhat of a bad-ass, finishing 16th at the 2015 Trans Am Bike Race! Great ride, Adam!
Special thanks to this year's volunteers for providing support for this season's event. We cannot run these events in their current timed format without volunteer help! Thanks to David Nelson, Nat Schub, Erika Van Meter, Eric Wais, Corinne Warren, and Mark Lowe for a long day of supporting riders! Also, thanks to Josh Gillam (Laura Furey's significant other), for his help supporting long-course riders during the day! 

Endless rollers during the final 40 miles of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder.