The second edition of SBT GRVL, a 145-mile world-class gravel race high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains sponsored by the city of Steamboat Springs, will open registration 3 December to fill 2500 spots.

The 2020 event sold out in less than 25 minutes, but the 2021 edition will likely sell out much, much faster, even with questionable refund and cancellation policies.

SBT Gravel has indicated there are a few new general registration spots, though most entries for the 8 August 2021 event are already spoken for by riders deferring entry from 2020, but not without controversy.

Although SBT GRVL did the right thing in 2020, stepping up and offering full refunds after cancelling due to COVID19, loyal riders who deferred entry to 2021 were required to pay an additional $25 transfer fee.

Via Facebook Tom Eatwell thought the fee excessive and unwarranted, “Not sure why we had to pay an additional $25 to transfer an already paid for entry?”

For 2021 if SBT GRVL decides to cancel due to COVID19 the transfer fee will be waived for riders deferring entry till 2022, but riders looking for a full refund are out of luck.

Riders requesting a refund will be charged a 30-60% fee as follows:

1) If SBT GRVL cancels the event 90+ days before 8 August 2021 riders will be charged a 30% fee and receive a 70% refund. 2) If SBT GRVL cancels 60-89 days before 8 August the fee increases to 50%. 3) If SBT GRVL cancels within 30-59 days of 8 August the fee is 60% with riders receiving only a 40% refund.

So if the event is cancelled on 10 May 2021 SBT GRVL could keep up to $150,000 in fees from 2500 riders requesting refunds. Thirty days later on 10 June that doubles to $300,000.

That would be a pretty good payday for SBT GRVL for not holding the event.  It might be more profitable than actually holding the event.

In our opinion, that seems a little greedy and stingy given the current economic and pandemic environment where a world-class cycling event of similar size is offering a 100% refund if the event is cancelled due to the pandemic.

Caveat Emptor

Worldwide Gran Fondo and Gravel Fondo Calendar