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Scott Funston wins a Wild Horse mechanical heavy gravel

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Scott Vanstone (blue) won third Wild Horse Gravel from a front group of three in an event that included six-time winner Leadville, Dave Wiens, world singles champion Ashton Lambie, Olympic medalist Bobby Gulich, among others.

Nick Gold (Mazda-Love) and Nate Maddox finished second and third on a day that saw many racers flat or drop their chain on a bumpy track in the countryside in western Colorado.

Although the Wild Horse Gravel is relatively short at 65 miles, it has the distinction of climbing 5,500 feet on a course of 8,200 feet. After a neutral start, the racers wrapped up speed from the small town of De Beque, Colorado, where Jake Magee (Vantage Freight) knocked out the group once the right race started.

Related: Alexis Skarda wins the Wild Horse Gravel for Moria

Gould was aggressive early on, taking a solo flyer with the chase by Wiens and Lambi.

Within the 10-mile range of the race, the front group dropped to about 10 riders.

Scott Vanstone, in the blue group, at the splash waterfall. Nick Gould is behind Funston – which is fitting because he will be behind him in the end, too. (Photo: Ben Delaney)
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Maggie will be one of the many riders sidelined with a flat tire. Tony Olson (Rio Grande) broke a wheel, driving him out all day. Chris Schroeder was one of the few riders on 1x bikes who would drop a chain, have to stop and put it back manually.

A few college riders from nearby Colorado Mesa University put in a solid showing, including Troy Fields.

As the track continued to climb and the path narrowed to a two-lane track width, Fields, Funston and Gould found themselves alone out of the front.

The strongest climb of the day came about 15 miles from the finish, with the grade descending more than 20 percent and forcing many riders to walk.

Gould was able to bring down Funston on this climb.

Fields had trouble cycling, which made him sit in the mechanic’s tent over the highest point of the track.

In the fast descent that followed, Funston caught Gould and the pair rode together, thinking that perhaps running twice at the race’s home base at The High Lonesome Ranch would be how the winner would be decided.

Instead, another mechanism came into play. Gould dropped his chain. As the others had several times in the race, Gould stopped and jumped to get him back in again. However, Gould had a chain guard on his bike, and was not able to simply return the chain. Instead, his multitool came out to loosen the chain guard, and Funston went on the road to take the win.

Full story and photo gallery coming soon.

2022 Wild Horse Gravel

  1. Scott Funston (blue)
  2. Nick Gold (Mazda Run)
  3. Nate Maddox
  4. Daxton Mock
  5. David Wiens (Topeak-Ergon-Canyon)
  6. Matt Nieman
  7. Tyler Jones (nice bikes and sleds)
  8. Joe Jewetle (Shells, Utah)
  9. Ashton Lampe (Argonauts-Love)
  10. Ben Delaney (@VeloNews)

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