F1 superstar Valtteri Bottas is not taking it easy during his racing summer break, as he competed in his first gravel event in the USA.
Finnish driver Bottas, who races for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team alongside Lewis Hamilton, headed out to Colorado to race the SBT GRVL event on Sunday (August 18), competing in the 64-mile red course around the city of Steamboat Springs.
Bottas joined his partner Tiffany Cromwell, pro rider for Canyon-SRAM, on the gravel roads, as Cromwell took on the brutal 144-mile route, finishing in eighth place.
Cromwell smashed the course in 7-32-45, finishing around 45 minutes down on the winner Lauren De Crescenzo from Cinch Elite.
It was an auspicious performance from Bottas, 31, as he finished in second place for his age and fifth overall on his gravel debut setting a time of 3-16-34 on the challenging route.
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Bottas said: “What a great event yesterday. Enjoyed my first grave race a lot!
“Ended up fifth overall out of 500-plus riders on the line for the 64-mile red course and second in my age group
“Tiffany Cromwell was a hero again completing the hardcore black course in the women’s top-10.
“Steamboat, we’ll be back.”
Bottas uploaded the ride to his Strava, as he covered 1,303m of climbing on the route and claimed multiple Strava top-10s.
Cromwell said on her Instagram: “I can definitely feel all the aches and pains in my tired body after yesterday’s SBT GRVL race.
“It was a long and pretty brutal day out on the bike over the 230km, with more than 160km of that on gravel. My longest ever bike race and one of my longest days on the bike ever.
“A nice experience to challenge myself in a different type of racing.”
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The men’s 144-mile event was won by Alex Howes from EF Education-Nippo, who outsprinted former WorldTour pro Ian Boswell (Wahoo Frontiers), with Peter Stetina taking third.
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