Part competition, part backwoods party, Grinduro combines endurance gravel riding with timed stages similar to an off-road enduro format. The day covers about 65 miles of rugged terrain, over 8,000 feet of climbing, and four timed “special stages” that demand both fitness and off-road handling skills.
For this year’s fifth edition of Grinduro, bike and gear choices were key, as cold, wet weather, including snow, challenged competitors. In addition, a forest fire in the region forced race organizers to re-route the course, adding about 2,000 feet of climbing.
“I rode and worked with my teammates all day,” said Davoust, who earned the overall victory by winning Stage 1, a climbing stage, and Stage 4, a technical downhill stage. “Carl is so smart racing this event and helped me out tremendously in pacing and preparing for each of the four stages.”
“After I raced Grinduro last year, I knew a mountain bike would be the bike to use if I wanted to win, and it just so happened that I was able to build the new 2020 XtC Advanced 29 hardtail just in time for the event,” Davoust said. “It was light enough to climb on, and it gave me a big advantage on the descent. I felt slightly guilty not using a gravel bike as it’s the culture of the event, but at the end of the day everyone was wishing they had brought their hardtails for the singletrack descents.”