Paul Petrie of Alexandria was the top finisher in the Gravel Grinder National Championship on Saturday.
The 100-mile race—run in cold, rainy weather—consisted of two laps around an open course on rural and gravel roads from Lincoln to Willisville, with the start and finish lines at the Bluemont Station Brewery.
Petrie completed the course with a time of 5 hours and 11 minutes, beating second place Brian Weightman of Washington, DC by less than a minute.
The event also included a 30-mile Mini G ride. The races drew 240 participants.
It was the seventh year for the national championship race, but the first not help in Lawrence, KS.
Organizer Troy Farrar said the decision to hold the race in western Loudoun was driven by the county’s reputation as the third most popular place in the country to ride on gravel roads.
“We had to give it a go,” Farrar said, adding that organizers and participants had a great experience, despite the rainy weather on race day.
No decision has been made about bringing the race back to Loudoun next year, but it’s possible the organizers may rotate locations and return in future years.
“Riders are really interested in going somewhere really, really pretty,” he said. “You guys have a beautiful county.”