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Maysville Gravel Mayhem

Katie Pothier | Published on 4/12/2021

Maysville is a great place for gravel with some good 20 to 60 mile routes that while not flat, are flatter than most of the routes north of Atlanta. Routes start from Hurricane Shoals Park which looks like an awesome place to finish a hot ride as you can basically beach yourself on the shoals and enjoy a refreshing soak. It was not “refresh on the shoals” weather on race day.

Georgia forgot it was April 3rd and treated us to 32F at the start. There was a bit of cursing the cold but that is what good layers are for. It’s actually interesting to see how drastically different people dress for the temperature. I think Jennifer Klein was wearing her summer short sleeved jersey, arm warmers and a wind vest with ¾ bib knickers, while I wore our Hincapie Element thermal top and bibs, and Trish had a bunch of layers so I’m not even sure what all she was wearing. It actually warmed up into the mid-fifties by the end of the race and the sun felt great but I was still very happy with my choice. There were three different distance options for the race: Massive (62 miles), Major (40 miles) and Minor (25 miles). Both the Massive and the Major were 56% gravel and 44% paved. Jennifer Klein, Saskia Hoppe, Samantha Wotiz and Karen Richardson all did the Massive. Jean D’Alessandro, Trish Albert and I did the Major (and kudos to Topview Sports for having an e-bike division!).

maysville mayhem April 2021 Karen Richardson
The race started off with crossing the historic covered bridge about 200 meters from the start line. That made for a sketchy start as everyone clambered to get a line across the bridge and not be the person that wipes out at the start. It ended up serving as a choke point since the best lines were the two wheel track boards. This meant that the people that positioned themselves at the front of the start got up to speed while the people in the back were still waiting to get across the bridge. I did not position myself well and had to work to catch up to the people towards the front (and one group was already too far for me to catch). I found a good group with Jean, two other ladies and some guys. We lost and picked up a few along the way. There was one turn that was not marked (it had marks for the other distances but was missing our color). The GPS maps were a bit weird as they’d occasionally connect two points with a line rather than follow the actual road so they made it a bit difficult to be confident in the turn but we took it and seemed to be correct! The course is pretty nice with lots of cows. There were a few loose dogs including what appeared to be a neighborhood dog gang where four different properties in one spot had loose dogs. I didn’t hear of any incidents but they gave a few people a run for their money. There was one huge floofy dog that was laying on the edge of the road and just looked at us when we rode by. I heard that he eventually got ambitious and chased a few people.

Maysville Mayhem April 2021 Saskia Hoppe
I enjoyed my group. It settled into a comfortable pace and we all did our part to stick together. I was watching the mileage though and knew when we were approaching the last few miles of the course. I’m still pretty new to bike race tactics outside of Zwift but was anticipating someone making a move. On the last gravel climb a gap started to develop between the two guys in the front and the girl I was directly behind. I put in the work to pass her and catch up to the two guys. We turned onto pavement and a quick look back showed the gap had widened. I needed the gap to stick so I passed the guys and pushed the pace on the pavement as they didn’t appear to have decided to be aggressive with the pace yet. Well, that lit a fire under them because they then passed me and dropped me on a short climb. I recognized where I was and kept up the pace and trying to catch back up to the guys. I never got back in their draft but basically caught up to them at the finish line. The gap to the pack behind us surprised me. We were all together and then we weren’t. It turned out that Jean ended up in the front of the pack at the top of the climb and set the pace like a good teammate. Not slacking but letting the gap grow until someone noticed and took the lead to start trying to close the gap. I ended up with 30 second gap which is awesome because I really didn’t want it to come down to a sprint finish. We never knew if there were any ladies in that front pack that was already too far out at the start but it turned out there weren’t any ladies. So, I ended up first overall female in the distance with Jean third.

Maysville Mayhem April 2021 Jennifer
Topview Sports Maysville Gravel Mayhem Results:

Female Under 35: 2nd Place, Samantha Wotiz
Female 35-49: 2nd Place, Saskia Hoppe
Female 50+: 1st Place (and first overall female, like a beast!), Jennifer Klein

Female 35-49: 1st Place, Katie Pothier and 3rd Place, Jennifer Ross
Female 50+: 1st Place, Jean D’Alessandro
Female E-Bike: 1st Place, Trish Albert