Year Two in the Wasatch

Saturday morning marked the 2nd annual Wasatch All-Road Bicycle Race, presented by Ventum. Pro riders raced the Full Yeti with 100 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing for their shot for 10K in prize money while others took their two wheels, gravel fanny packs, flannel shirts and old school biking vibe on one of three course options.

The 2022 race moved from the Ventum Headquarters to the up and coming popular Soldier Hollow State Park located in Midway, UT. This move was important not only for future growth of the event's participants, expo and important post ride beer gardens but also for the idea of the new addition, the Mini Yeti.

It had been a couple of years since I had been up to Soldier Hollow. Once upon a time I used to work in that area and would often ride and run around that part of the lake. I was reminded of just how cool of a gem the area was. Located on the north side of Mt Timpanogos the views are breathtaking and the air is clean and crisp. The venue was created for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and during the games it hosted the biathlon, cross-country skiing, and the cross country skiing portion of the Nordic combined events. Since that time the park has become a popular spot for cross and mt bike racing.

The race day starts were spread out by 60 and 90 min intervals and went from longest to shortest in race distance. It had just over 450 total riders that ranged from ages of 14-68 years of age.

The Full Yeti: 100 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing took the riders deep and high into Uinta mountains and down back into the Valley.

The Mid Yeti: 75 miles with over 8,000 feet of climbing kept the adventurers honest and was able to provide some pretty legit high locational selfie pics for “wish you were here” / FOMO bragging rights.

The Mini Yeti: a 5 lap crit style race that was fully contained inside the park utilizing sections of cross country and mountain bike trails. It brought that fun fast loop action back into the expo and race finish line area.

Like most race start ups the expo was small but the race and venue had that vibe of something to watch and for sure worth looking at doing. Personally I think a 40 or 50 mile ride would be a better option for growth then the 75 mile. In my opinion if you can do the 75 mile ride you can do the 100 Mile ride. And I do think however the 75 mile option with 8,000 feet of climbing keeps a lot of people away that just don't want to jump into a race on a Saturday.

To me the event was super cool. It was set up well. Well organized and has a lot of future potential. What I love about gravel is the laid back culture it produces. I believe that is also one of the main reasons we see a good amount of diversity in the sport. It’s filled with all sorts of people from different genders, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Gravel without knowing it really does echo Crocs “Come as You Are” mentality.

I could see the mini being something that could turn into a pro race that would allow for a better, more attractive spectator atmosphere. The race director, Jeff Louder, who is a local Utah native, comes from a successful professional career and you can tell that a lot of thought goes into the event. I know he, his sponsors and Heber Valley, UT are very committed to seeing that this race becomes something that is worth putting on the yearly calendar.

Top 3 Men’s Finishers - Full Yeti

Griffin Easter- 5:51:10
Zach Calton- 5:51:50
Kyle Trudeau- 5:52:16

Top 3 Women’s Finishers - Full Yeti

Chelsea Bolton - 6:50:02
Emma Grant - 6:53:26
Lindsey Stevenston 6:53:57

Find more information about the race here.