BY THE NUMBERS WITH ALISON TETRICK ~ 2017 GRAVEL WORLDS
Lezyne ambassador Alison Tetrick claimed another gravel title — this time as Gravel Champion of the World! Hot off her Queen of Kanza record breaking ride, Tetrick again conquered one the toughest gravel events in North America. Now a proud owner of a Rainbow Jersey, she sent us the data she recorded using her Lezyne Super GPS. Using our GPS Root website, we take a look at the numbers and had Alison provide further insight into her winning ride with the Q&A below.
– Distance: 250 km
– Total Ascent: 2,226 meters
– Avg. Speed: 30.8 km/h
– Time: 8 hours
- Lezyne: What was the course like?
- Alison: The course was published 72 hours before the race. It was completely self-supported and you have to rely on your navigation system to get you through the Nebraska countryside. Thank heavens I had my Lezyne Super GPS. I downloaded the “treasure map” and was ready to rock and roll. The course was an endless set of rollers for all 155 miles. There was nothing flat on the horizon, and the continuous punchy pitches for the duration of the event were incredibly challenging. The gravel was pea-sized and amazing. I went out on course in the dark of night to cheer on the final finishers and will tell you, walking barefoot on it was super fun. It was almost like your were on the tropical island, and then you saw the cornfields. A lot of cornfields and some soybeans. It was a roller coaster of challenges as the gravel varied in depth and a few times we crossed onto some dirt roads and had one hike-a-bike section where the road was closed to traffic.
- Lezyne: Eight hours is always a long time on the bike. Did a lot of tactics come into play, or was it mostly a lot of time spent by yourself grinding away?
- Alison: Eight hours is a really long time, and I was focusing intently on making each split of the group as we crossed steeper climbs and the more technical parts of the course. After losing contact with the front group of men, I was in no man’s land for awhile. The hills were very short, which did lend for “larger” groups to stay together. The second place female and her team caught me, and that’s when the tactics began. It was so fun to be able to race and think about how to win against all odds.
- Lezyne: You averaged over 30 km/h (19 mph) for 250 kilometers (155 miles). That’s haulin’ for a gravel race and over that amount of time. Was it pretty smooth our there? Or did you run into a lot of rugged terrain too?
- Alison: The gravel was amazing and smooth. The technical sections came from the depth of the gavel where some parts were as smooth as tarmac, and other parts felt like a sandpit. And yes, we went fast. Why not? Quicker to finish!
- Lezyne: How did this event compare on your list of ‘hardest races you’ve competed in?’
- Alison: Between this event and the Dirty Kanza 200 (or 206), both were extremely challenging. The DK200 was 3 hours longer, which does take your body to a whole new place. I loved this race and think that gravel racing is so much fun. You really have to race against yourself and all the obstacles that you can imagine.
- Lezyne: Your peak power for the race came at the end. Was there a sprint finish for the win?
- Alison: Yes. I had to SPRINT! I was isolated with the second place women and her team and needed to be smart. I threw the dice for a sprint finish and WON! It was super close, and she rode great. We both had come back from some injuries lately, and I don’t think we had much left at the end. We both had to lay there for a bit and just relish that “empty tank” feeling.
- Lezyne: What was your main screen setup on your Super GPS for the event?
- Alison: Since you have to focus on your navigation, I just watch the turns and the map on the Super GPS. I always think I will look at power and speed and distance, but I don’t. I am so focused to not take a wrong turn and to know what is coming. Towards the end of the race, since I knew the finish, I did start looking at distance in the “are we there yet” sort of way.
- Lezyne: What’s something unique about Gravel Worlds that people wouldn’t know about the event/course/location? And what’s with the pirates?
- Alison: It’s the pirate’s life there! Gravel Worlds is put on by the Pirates Cycling League and it is all pirates, booty, and arrrrgh. You didn’t think that you would find pirates in the middle of a Nebraska cornfield, but when you find them, you know it is all good. Now, when you see a skeleton, you know there might be problems.
- Lezyne: You’re a world champion! Can you tell us what that feeling is like?
- Alison: Even if it was an unofficial and official Gravel Worlds, I will take it! I always wanted some rainbow stripes, and the closest I came to was a third place at the UCI World Championships in the team time trial. I think following up the Queen of Kanza with a Gravel Worlds win is the way to do it. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Follow along with Alison’s adventures here: http://alisontetrick.com/