2021 Belgian Waffle Ride Results: Re-Pete!
The 2021 Belgian Waffle Ride San Diego was an exciting day filled with riders, gravel, and plenty of waffles. Pete Stetina defended his title with an emphatic victory over the men’s field, and Iz King placed 4th in the women’s field. Read below for a run down of how the race went for Canyon’s athletes.
The Belgian Waffle Ride is a 130+ mile race that blends 80 miles of pavement with more than 50 miles of southern California gravel, right in the backyard of the Canyon USA headquarters. In the men’s field, Pete Stetina made crucial early splits, whittling the front group down to 10 or so riders, before launching a momentous attack on the Questhaven gravel sector, soloing to victory more than 5 minutes ahead of 2nd place. Pete opted for the Ultimate CF SLX, prioritizing light weight and road race performance to hammer away on the brutally steep climbs and miles of tarmac that dotted the course.
Following her 8th place finish at Unbound - her first ever gravel race, Iz King cemented herself firmly at the top of the world’s top gravel racers by taking 4th in the women’s field, going up against some of the country’s best riders, including the reigning U.S. Pro Women’s Road Race Champion. Iz’s defining moment came when she hung on to the pack during a decisive split up one of the hardest climbs of the day, Black Canyon, a gruelling fire road with no respite in sight. Temperatures reached north of 100 degrees, taking a toll on countless riders early in the day.
The sand, heat, and unforgiving course profile were sure to sap riders of energy as the day bore on, but the greatest hurdles for riders Jeremiah Bishop and Andrew Jackson (Flashpoint MVMT) were the persistent mechanicals that both experienced on course. Jeremiah suffered a double flat within the first 90 minutes of the race, and Andrew Jackson had an unfortunate slip out just after the first gravel sector, breaking his pedal. Undeterred, both riders soldiered on, finishing the race, setting an example for the perseverance and commitment that made them the riders they are today.
Certainly a really good time! 🍻 bikes and really friggin tough!-Jeremiah Bishop
Canyon had numerous athletes, owners, and employees racing at BWR, and between them, every branch of the drop-bar bike range was represented. The BWR San Diego is a deceptively difficult race to gauge for equipment, as the unforgiving mix of pavement and gravel demands special considerations for tires and bike type. Pete Stetina, Iz King, and Alexey Vermeullen raced on Ultimates, while Jeremiah Bishop, Andrew Jackson, Eddie Anderson, and Tyler Pearce used the Endurace. Canyon’s own Andrew Scott used his Grail, and Felipe Acevedo raced his Inflite CF SLX- in short, there were no wrong choices to be had at this year’s race.
If the results from Alexey, Pete, and Iz are to prove anything, it’s that an all-road capable road bike was the stronger choice for this year’s particular parcours. Fast road sectors meant a road frame spec’d with wider tires would be the best means to optimize overall performance. We’re looking forward to rehashing this debate ahead of the 2022 BWR!
Canyon triumphs at BWR
In early June, racers from around the world descended on the dusty dirt roads of Emporia, Kansas. Unbound is one of the hardest races in the world, an unforgiving 200+ miles of gravel. When the dust settled, Canyon rider and self proclaimed “gravel ruiner”, Peter Stetina, emerged on the podium securing 3rd place overall.
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