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Villafane, Blevins win Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder

Grotts and Sturm reach podium in third
Sofia Gomez Villafane and Christopher Blevins show off their leaders jerseys during the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. Both cyclists went on to win the stage race. (Sofia Gomez Villafane/Instagram)

Sophia Gomez Villafane and Christopher Blevins maintained their leads on the final two stages of the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder on Saturday and Sunday to win the race’s general classification.

Villafane of Specialized Off-Road placed first in the women’s division of the five-stage race in 17 hours, 39 minutes and 29 seconds, finishing almost 15 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Sarah Max of Argonaut Cycles (17:54:28).

Villafane won Stage 4, the race’s queen stage, on Saturday in 5:48:49 to extend her lead to more than 15 minutes.

Sarah Sturm of Specialized Rapha Sram Wahoo finished strong and won the sixth stage by 7:30 in 4:22:30 to finish third in the GC in 17:58:31.

Blevins, meanwhile, won the men’s division by 2:08 in 14:56:45.

Blevins of Specialized Racing finished the fourth stage in 4:57:23, the same time as Peter Stetina of SummerCamp, who was in second place at the time, to maintain his roughly 2-minute lead.

On the final stage, there was a three-way battle for first, but Howard Grotts of Specialized took the win just seconds ahead of Blevins and Stetina. Grotts won the fifth stage in 3:44:44, followed by Blevins (3:44:46) and Stetina (3:44:47).

“The racing itself was a proper battle everyday with (Stetson) and (Gross) and I came away with the win,” Blevins posted on Instagram. “We threw everything at each other during the climbs and tight finishes and then shared stories and jumped in the river afterwards. Exactly how it should be at a race like this.”