Peter began his self-professed quest to 'ruin gravel' two years ago when he left his World Tour team, Trek Segafredo, to race in the gravel. He began a new life as a #trashpanda living mainly out of his van and racing all over this great country. His first victory came at the BWR CA in 2019, shortly after embarking on this quest. It looks like the UCI is following him into the gravel world and he may have some help in his quest. Peter has been a great addition to the gravel world and has won many of the top gravel races in America against growing fields of ex-World Tour riders. One may recall at last year's BWR UTAH, when Keegan Swenson out sprinted Pete for the overall win. So, coming back this year to clinch the victory that eluded him previously was a nice triumph, but Griffin Easter, this year's KOM and KOS winnaar, certainly gave Peter an honest run for it... sadly, Griffin flatted in the Tolweg and wasn't able to have a two-up sprint with Peter for all to enjoy!
Peter's Race Recap:
The strongest rider didn’t win theCedar City addition of the BWR this year, but the race was nonetheless exciting and its contenders honorable. Click the picture below to learn even more...
We started hard. The neutral was fast to keep us warm in the dawn light, and it kicked into overdrive as soon as the flag dropped. Dangerous contenders started throwing hail marys in the first miles. John Borstelmann, Freddy Ovett of Legion LA, and Brennan Wertz were particularly active, forcing the rest of us to collaborate to mount a defense from the onset. By the time we reached the first climb there were maybe only 50 riders left where there were nearly 300 last year.
I charged the hilly and technical sections attempting to pare the group down further. Over the next few hours every slight drag, sand bog or technical two-track someone would try to capitalize and the group became 30, then 15, then 10. Upon entering the final 50 miles just 6 of us remained. Out of the group I took particular note of two major threats. Griffin Easter who is on some fine fall form, and Paul Voss, a German who was in the World Tour a number of the same seasons as I. Both are riders I immensely respect, as they race with honor and panache. All day they had been my partners in whittling down the group and making the race hard. No shady wheel sucking between us.
I pushed the pace uphill and put in a few digs, but Griffin held strong. I was at my limit and he was glued to my wheel. In my preferred terrain I couldn’t shake him. Shit. I could tell by his body language that he was better than me this day, and I can’t sprint well. We had distanced the others and continued to work together into the dastardly Tolweg singletrack. I made sure to lead into it so I could dictate the pace. I pushed it, hard enough to make it tricky but just slow enough to protect my tires. My only hope was he would make a mistake behind me. Two-thirds through, just that happened. I heard the whoosh of air leaving his tire and I could tell from the hiss that it wasn’t going to be a fast plug. Upon exiting the section I looked back a few times; if he was nearby I’d have waited and then commenced the battle. But he was nowhere to be seen. This is one of the unspoken “code of conducts” happening in gravel at the moment: Should one puncture on a dirt road earlier in the day, we generally ease off and allow them to rejoin if they can fix it quickly. However, in the worst part of the course, the part everyone had been talking about, the race is defined by not puncturing.It’s all fair game and proper racing to charge on from there.
Thus, I was able to solo in for the win and reverse the result from one year ago, nearly the exact opposite scenario from 12 months ago. This was a different win for me as I wasn’t the strongest on a hill, a tactic I’ve been privileged to benefit from often this season. I was lucky and I protected my bike above all else, a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, and one of the most important in gravel.