SBT GRVL 2023: 515lbs of Beer and One Epic Race

SBT GRVL Hill Climb

If you were thinking of coming to SBT and didn't, DO IT in 2024

We got the weekend started on Friday after the expo with HLL CLMB - the first ever hill climb at SBT and I think people were nervously excited to see how it went. There were two options; race for time to win $500 or race to win the costume contest for your weight in beer... Meg Fisher Willie and I came to win the costume contest on a tandem and oh did we! 515 lbs of beer for the fans!

SBT GRVL Hill Climb
Valteri Bottas and Alexey Vermeulen


Going into the race on Sunday I was not really sure what to expect. I knew how previous editions had played out, but expected this year to be different..and faster. After SBT started much of the feed zone drama last year, the biggest preparation came in the form of how to carry enough fuel. 142 miles without stopping isn't simple! I used 3x 90 oz bottles of water and a 1.5 liter pack with Skratch High Carb.

Bike Details: 

Frame: Custom ENVE 'Blueprint' MOG

Components: Shimano GRX (50/34 - 11/34)

Chain: Waxed by Silca

Sealant: Orange Seal Regular 

Cockpit: ENVE Aero Bar (39/44mm)

Wheels: ENVE 4.5's

Tires: Kenda 4Titude 40mm  (32/34 PSI F/R at start)

Bar Tape: ESI

Cages: Silca Sicuro

Computer: Wahoo Bolt

Saddle Bag: not needed

MISC: 4 Genuine Innovation Plugs, 2 co2, 1 Tubolito

Bike Set Up

How the Race Went Down

Very quickly Keegan was at the front in a group of 6 as I chased behind with what was left of the peloton, about 20 people. Thanks to Howard Grotts, Zach Calton, Lachlan and Russell we all reconnected about 75 miles into the race after a 2.5 hour chase. 

After about 15 miles of easier riding, it was obvious everyone was a bit tired and we still had over 60 miles to race! As we came into the outer loop, I felt the wind start to stretch the field out. I wasn't feeling great, but found my way to Keegan's wheel just in time for him to put in a vicious move that splintered the front group to pieces! What was left was Keegan, Petr Vakoc, Adam Roberge and myself with Pete Steina and Lachlan chasing in behind. As the gap grew I committed to the move and was focused on building the gap as much as we could. After the longest climb on course, Adam let a small gap go and before I knew it, Keegan and Petr had daylight. 

Adam and I kept chasing, but at that moment I started to realize it might be a race for 3rd. About 5 minutes later Adam crashed in a corner and I realized very quickly how daunting the next 35 miles of solo time trial in the heat looked. Knowing I was on my last legs, I focused on riding steady and being ready for whatever the finale brought. I stayed aero as often as I could and rode hard up the hills. 


With about 3 miles left I caught a glimpse of Pete and Lachlan chasing to the end. I pushed it a little more, but was luckily able to dose it perfectly to avoid a sprint and finish 3rd after a brutally tough day! 142 miles at 23.5 MPH. Aerodynamic insanity! 

SBT Finish
@ Averystumm


  • jhkgcmjbqh

    SBT GRVL 2023: 515lbs of Beer and One Epic Race– SILCA

  • Jay Saenz

    Fun to read this recap. Thanks for posting. I bought a SILCA Gravelero Mini pump at the SBT GRVL expo on Saturday and it saved me on Sunday during the race. Great product! And also thanks for washing/cleaning the bikes after the race. You guys are awesome.

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