The Weekly Dirt: Swenson and Gomez Villafañe strike again, the Traka 360, and spring cycling challenges

A weekly roundup of what's happening in the off-road.

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Better late than never?

Since the last Weekly Dirt , I’ve been a bit of a globetrotter — and my time on the bike has gone up by leaps and bounds. First, there was the Lake Sonoma Hopper, where I did my first eMTB race (which was actually my first eMTB ride!).

Then, it was Sea Otter, which … was busy! The best part was probably riding there with a few fellow bike industry friends. The sunshine, wildflowers, and bike racing were also pretty rad. The poison oak that spread across my body the week after? Not so much.

Now, I’m in Spain, where I traveled two days post-Sea Otter to come check out the Traka gravel race. I’ll have more to say about that soon, but it’s been so fun to ride around Girona and see what all the buzz has been about. I just got back from a two-day credit card tour to the coast — what a treat to do nothing but ride and eat snacks and take in the sights of northern Catalunya.

Here’s some news from the off-road!

Swenson and Gomez Villafañe dominate Whiskey Off-Road

It’s still early, but these two names + “won _____ bike race” is becoming a common theme.

Fresh off victories in the Fuego XL at Sea Otter, Keegan Swenson and Sofia Gomez Villafañe swept the Whiskey Off-Road races last weekend, winning both the fat tire crit and backcountry races at the beloved Arizona event.

whiskey off-road
Spicy racing at the 2023 Whiskey Off-Road (Photo: Eddie Clark Media)

Swenson beat Bradyn Lange in the crit and finished three minutes ahead of Cole Paton in the backcountry race.

In the women’s race, it was Alexis Skarda who gave Gomez Villafañe a run for her money both days, especially during the Sunday’s sprint finish.

‘One hour a day’ challenge for mental health

Sometimes all it takes is an hour a day.

For mental health awareness month, adventure cyclist Sarah Swallow is doing something that helps her own mental health and challenging others to join her — getting outside for an hour a day.

Swallow is also raising money for the The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people.

Signing up for the challenge is easy.

  1. Go to and sign up for the basic (free) subscription
  2. Download the Ride with GPS app and sign in to your account
  3. Join the challenge by visiting and clicking “Join Challenge”
  4. Ride for at least one hour a day each day for the month of May
  5. Record your ride using the Ride with GPS app
  6. Share your journey using the hashtag #onehouradaychallenge
  7. Visit Sarah’s campaign page and donate to The Trevor Project

REBOUND for Unbound

Speaking of challenges, the folks at Live Slow Ride Fast (Laurens ten Dam’s media company) also have one in the works.

On Saturday, June 3, the same day as Unbound Gravel, LSRF is challenging people to ride any of the Unbound distances (25, 50, 100, or 200 miles) on a route they design and save on Strava. Riders must start at 6 a.m. (like the race) and can only stop twice along the way for refueling (also like the race). They must celebrate afterwards.

This event is a joint initiative by LSRF and Shimano, and there are tons of great prizes for people who register, including two VIP tickets to the Tour de France!

Rockwell and Sturm go 1-2 at Traka 360k

Sturm and Rockwell, the day after setting records at the Traka 360k (Photo: Betsy Welch)

American gravel pros Amity Rockwell and Sarah Sturm topped the podium at the Traka in Spain last weekend, and the 360k race was monumental on many levels.

Both women toppled the previous record by an hour, with Rockwell finishing in 15 hours and Sturm 45 minutes later.

Rockwell came into the race after living and training in Girona all month, while Sturm traveled to Spain after finishing sixth in the Fuego XL at Sea Otter the weekend before.

Neither had raced in Spain previously, and for both, the 360k was their longest ride ever.

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