Big Sugar Gravel Race Day: Results, Highlights & Photos

big sugar results 2021

“Saturday, 10/23/2021, the inaugural Life Time Big Sugar Gravel race took place amidst peak fall foliage in Northwest Arkansas with a field of more than 1,100 riders representing 46 states and 5 countries. The event joins Life Time’s portfolio of off-road cycling races which has seen growth in 2021, following the successful launch of The Rad Dirt Fest in Trinidad, Colo. earlier this month and Sea Otter Classic, Garmin UNBOUND Gravel, the Leadville Race Series and Chequamegon MTB Festival to-boot.” – Verde Brand Communications

big sugar results 2021

“Coinciding with Outerbike Bentonville, the Big Sugar weekend hosted two signature distances: the marquee Big Sugar, a 103-mile course of challenging roads through the Ozarks with approximately 8,000 feet of elevation gain; and the Little Sugar, which complements the larger distance with a 50-mile course serving up a similarly challenging, but shorter distance.”

big sugar results 2021

“Bentonville locals Gabbi Adams, 2017 Garmin UNBOUND Gravel XL single speed champion, and Nat Ross, Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and 24 Hour World Champion, served as Race Directors for the event, which took riders through the remote, quiet, and rural gravel roads surrounding Bentonville, offering a glimpse into the hinterlands of Southern Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. The roads dip, dive, and climb through different hollows and hills, keeping riders on their A-game the entire backcountry ride.”

big sugar results 2021

Results

For the 103-mile Big Sugar Race distance in the women’s division:

  • Moriah Wilson, 25, from Mill Valley, CA placed first with a finish time of 5:30:57

  • Emily Newsom, 38, of Fort Worth, TX  secured second place with a finish time of 5:32:10.
  • Maddy Ward, 27, from San Diego, CA placed third with a completion time of 5:49:52.

big sugar results 2021

For the 103-mile Big Sugar Race distance men’s division:

  • Adam Roberge, 24, from Prevost, CAN placed first with a finish time of 4:59:10

  • Dennis Van Winden, 33, from Berkel En Rodenrijs, NLD secured second place with a finish time of 5:04:24

  • John Keller, 24, from Boulder, CO placed third with a completion time of 5:06:07.

big sugar results 2021

For the 103-mile Big Sugar Race distance non-binary division:

  • Rach McBride, 43, from Vancouver, CAN placed first with a finish time of 6:13:22, a 26th overall finish.

  • Abi Robins, 32, of Austin, TX, placed second with a time of 10:18:13.

big sugar results 2021
On-bike interview of sorts with Rach – JOM’s video coming soon!

All results can be found here on Athlinks.

For the 103-mile Big Sugar distance in the women’s division, Moriah Wilson, 25, from Mill Valley, California placed first with a finish time of 5:30:57. Emily Newsom, 38, of Fort Worth, TX, secured second place with a finish time of 5:32:10. Maddy Ward, 27, from San Diego, Calif. placed third with a completion time of 5:49:52.

big sugar results 2021
Moriah Wilson

“I don’t know if I had a strategy going in, just trying to hold on during the fast sections at the beginning,” said Wilson. “I was definitely a little off the back coming into the first section of gravel and worked my way up in the women’s lead group, then started to pick up the pace a bit and finished strong. The first half was really fast, pretty loose, but it was really fun and a good mixture of different terrain.”

big sugar results 2021

“For the 103-mile Big Sugar distance men’s division, Adam Roberge, 24, from Prevost, Canada placed first with a finish time of 4:59:10. Dennis Van Winden, 33, from Berkel En Rodenrijs, NLD secured second place with a finish time of 5:04:24. John Keller, 24, from Boulder, Colorado placed third with a completion time of 5:06:07.”

big sugar results 2021
Adam Roberge

“The first part of the course was really difficult and technical,” said Roberge. “People were having trouble, or people were dropping because they were too tired and the group started getting smaller and smaller and it turned into a gravel race. I put the hammer down on a climb and after that, I knew I was still feeling pretty good.” When asked if he had fun, Roberge laughed and said, “It’s a weird kind of fun but I did.”

big sugar results 2021

“For the 103-mile Big Sugar distance non-binary division, Rach McBride, 43, from Vancouver, B.C. placed first with a finish time of 6:13:22, a 26th overall finish. Abi Robins, 32, of Austin, TX, placed second with a time of 10:18:13.”

“The course was unrelenting with technical descents, but my tip is to just get out and do it sometimes, regardless of having the ‘right’ equipment because gravel is a really welcoming community and you’ll find support,” said McBride. In a pre-race Instagram post, they shared, “[Big Sugar Gravel] is the first time I’ll be racing in a non-binary category, a category that makes me and my identity feel seen, validated, and worthy as a non-binary athlete.”

big sugar results 2021
A scene from JOM’s pending ride experience video

“For the 50-mile Lil’ Sugar Race distance in the women’s division, Lauren Stephens, 34, of Dallas, Texas placed first with a finish time of 2:55:08. Betsy Welch, 40, from Boulder, Colorado secured second place with a finish time of 3:01:20. Amy Borkowski, 42, from Louisburg, Kansas placed third with a completion time of 3:04:44.”

big sugar results 2021
The legendary Selene Yeager!

“For the 50-mile Lil’ Sugar Race distance men’s division, Andrew Dahlheim, 33, of Greenville, South Carolina placed first with a finish time of 2:55:07. Molly Cameron, 45, from Portland, Oregon secured second place with a finish time of 2:55:10. Zach Aldrich, 28, from Rogers, Arkansas placed third with a completion time of 2:55:24.”

big sugar results 2021
Inflation is more fun with friends 🙂

Symbolic of gravel racing’s fast-growing popularity and Bentonville’s proven hospitality toward the cycling community, registration for this event sold out in 2019 in under five minutes, a record time for the more than 30 premier athletic events within the Life Time portfolio.”

big sugar results 2021
JOM at Whistling Springs Brewery, good mate to his left

“Additionally, the Life Time Foundation, Life Time’s nonprofit arm of the organization, recently committed $80,000 to neighboring Fayetteville Public Schools to assist in the removal of artificial ingredients and accelerate scratch cooking processes. As of Fall 2021, the Life Time Foundation partners with 35 public school districts to impact more than 1.7 million children in 3,634 schools across the country. The Foundation collaborates with school food leaders to help them serve wholesome, nourishing, minimally processed food to schools and partners with community organizations nationwide to get kids moving.”

Big Sugar Gravel