Summertime in Vermont is when everyone comes out to play. The snow has melted, the mud has dried into what locals call “Vermont Pavé” and the hills of the northern Appalachians are as green as can be. But the beauty belies a daunting challenge, those stunning hills can be unrelenting, and while the altitude won’t bother you the continuous up and down will wear out even the most hardened gravel racers.
Its long route ( AKA the Sip of Sunshine) takes riders through almost 140km of hills with more than 2400m of climbing and for Katie Kantzes that challenge was just the right mix to land on the top step of this summertime classic.
After beating a top-class field of gravel pros we couldn’t wait to learn more about Katie’s race and check out her RaceMax that took the top of the podium on the day.
Here’s how the win played out:
“Clear sunshine, killer climbs, gravel and gnar – Rooted Vermont was an epic day. The race played out over almost 9,000 feet of climbing (with a massive kick in the teeth, cat 4 climb at only mile 3) and technical single track with plenty of rocks and, of course, roots. The lead group of 3 women went clear around the first class 4 dirt section at mile 20. With long steady climbs in between, by mile 50 (the second class 4) it was down to 2. I’m not a gifted technical rider by any stretch, but I’d put my 3T through its paces and I was grateful and confident that the bike could handle anything.
I took my shot to climb away from Sarah Lange who had been putting in massive pulls. The next few miles were surreal as I flew down the final descents with a couple of companions to enter the finish stretch, complete with a single-track foam party and big cheers from my amazing teammates.”
The race-winning RaceMax
- 3T Exploro RaceMax, size 51
- SRAM Force/Eagle AXS mullet build, 42T, 10/50
- HUNT 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide wheelset
- Schwalbe G-One RS 40 tires (on race day),
- Fizik stem, bars, tape, and saddle Vento Argo R1, 140
- Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS computer
- Apidura Expedition Tool Pack saddle bag