Gallery: The men’s race at Big Sugar Gravel

Many riders said that gravel's season finale was the most full-gas race of all

Despite its late season slot on the calendar, as the last race in the Life Time Grand Prix, Big Sugar Gravel was bound to bring fireworks.

And explosive racing we got, in both the men’s and women’s races. With second through sixth place in the men’s series standings completely up for grabs depending on the result of Saturday’s race, riders showed up more focused than ever.

Read also: Russell Finsterwald takes a triumphant win to close the season

In the end, Russell Finsterwald delivered the tactical masterclass needed to cinch the win, bringing himself onto the third step of the Grand Prix podium in the process.

Alexey Vermeulen, who rode to fourth on the day and second in the Grand Prix, may have been speaking for more people than just himself when he posted a reflection about the season on social media.

“Proud of a consistent year, thrilled to see US racing growing with structure and validation provided by the Grand Prix, in awe of my peers, and thankful to be able to race a bike for a living,” he said.