Gravel Battle of Sumter Forest is done and dusted – with riders still cleaning dust out of their eyes three days later.
The first of six races in the Southeast (USA) Gravel Series started 13 March in Clinton, South Carolina in the heart of the Sumter National Forest and included a stacked field with 20 Pro Women and 40 Pro Men.
23 year-old USA Cycling Collegiate National Champion Scott McGill won the fast, dusty and flat race, besting a field filled with top cyclists including former Tour de France riders Ted King & Bobby Julich, youngsters Drew Dillman, Isaac Bryant & Tim Coffee, plus aging endurance coach Health Dotson.
In an atypical gravel race outcome, the top 10 riders finished together, sprinting for the win within a few seconds of McGill.
Pro Kaysee Armstrong riding for Giant/Liv Factory Off Road Team won the Women’s race, 13 seconds ahead of Laura King.
17 year-old Trent Thompson announced his arrival on the Southeast Gravel race circuit by by winning the 44 mile short race in 2:01:56, but best keep his eye on up-and-coming 14 year-old Gray Barnett who almost beat Thompson for the win.
Women’s short race champion Cinthia Lehner was not far behind Thompson and Barnett, winning in 2:02:31 and finishing 14th overall.
397 cyclists participated in Gravel Battle of Sumter Forest, making it one of the largest in-person gravel races to take place during the pandemic.
The next race in the series, Greenwood Gravel Grinder, is scheduled to take place 10 April in Abbeville, South Carolina.
Complete Battle Gravel of Sumter Forest here.