MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2021
Stephan Davoust led a dominant showing by the Giant Factory Off-Road Team at the 2021 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals, winning gold in the elite men’s race. Luke Vrouwenvelder earned silver to complete the impressive one-two finish for the squad in Frederick, Maryland.
“I am absolutely beyond myself to be the 2021 marathon national champion,” Davoust said after his win. "Thanks to the team for a great season, I'm already frothing for next year."
From the start, Davoust and Vrouwenvelder proved they were the riders to beat. Both chose to race their Anthem Advanced Pro 29 race bikes, opting for their full-suspension XC machines to tackle the rocky, technical East Coast trails at Grambill State Park. Both also wore their Giant Rev Pro helmets and Charge Pro shoes to earn the podium placings.
“Right from the gun I set my own pace, and Luke was the only one able to hold the pace,” Davoust said. “From early on I knew he was going to be a fierce competitor, as he has been all year, and sure enough we were fighting through the turny, rocky Maryland trails, minutes in front of the rest of the field.”
About an hour into the 32-mile race, which covered two laps of a challenging 16-mile course, Vrouwenvelder punctured a tire. “Not what you want of course, but not a day-ending mechanical in a three-hour race,” said the 26-year-old from North Carolina.
A faulty air cartridge resulted in Vrouwenvelder losing about 6 minutes, but he finally got the tire repaired and was able to catch and pass everyone except Davoust to score the silver medal.
“In the end it’s a Giant one-two finish,” Vrouwenvelder said. “It was a great weekend for the team here in Maryland.”
As for Davoust, the championship caps a great season that also saw the 26-year-old from Colorado score silver medals in both the XC and short track event at the MTB National Championships earlier in the year.