Utah has a brand new gravel event called the Wasatch All-Road and it brought a challenge like few other events on the calendar. Due to the event’s location in Heber City, which is nestled between the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, there was no way of getting around anything but a climb-heavy day in the saddle that delivered high alpine lakes, aspen groves, and as much thin air as you could suck into your lungs.
Two route options, the 100 mile Full Yeti with 12,000 feet of climbing, and the 35 mile Mini Yeti with 4,800 feet of vert, both featured the event’s trademark course feature, The Wasatch Wall. Coming just a few miles into the day, The Wasatch Wall was an 11 mile, 4,000 foot brute that tested everyone due to the sheer length and pitches, in addition to the technical rock gardens on the upper section of the climb. Once on top though, it was a 360-degree view as far as the eye could see.
The first-year event came together in a joint effort between Ventum and Jeff Louder, a retired pro who now splits time between his coaching business and playing a director role for Hagens Berman Axeon. “I raced in the Crusher in the Tushar the very first year of the event and the idea for the Wasatch All-Road was to bring an event like that closer to my home in Salt Lake City to showcase the gravel riding we have in the Heber Valley”, Jeff told us.
ENVE was in the expo preaching the benefits of proper tire pressure and helping teach riders how to find what their ideal setup is. The ENVE Air Station was the most popular place to be pre-race with riders getting dialed just before the start.