In its second edition, Big Sugar Gravel welcomed 915 riders to Bentonville, Arkansas. The stage was set for seasoned gravel riders to face off against WorldTour pros like EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton and Emily Newsom and Bora Hansgrohe’s Jordi Meeus. A warm morning greeted riders at the start line, with a high of 85 degrees set for the afternoon, a major difference from last year’s stormy conditions but the dry weather around Northwest Arkansas and Missouri left many exposed rocks throughout the route, creating rough and dusty conditions on course.
Russell Finsterwald and Paige Onweller emerged victorious in Bentonville to earn the neon Big Sugar Gravel trophy. After the race, Finsterwald, 31, described the day bluntly, “The best way to sum it up is that it was a dogfight out there. Everyone was racing for that top spot. There were a lot of places to move up in the (Life Time) Grand Prix.