Cyclists battle through Montana Gravel Challenge

Racers wait to start the third and final stage of the Montana Gravel Challenge on Sunday.

Over the weekend, close to 120 bikers in the Missoula area took on a 119 mile road race known as the Montana Gravel Challenge.

The race, put together by the Cycling House and Competitive Timing, is a challenging course broken up in three stages.

Friday started with a 6-mile time trial. Saturday, riders were tasked with completing a 46-mile course called Hell Ride. The competition concluded Sunday with 71 more miles in the third and final event, called the Rocky Mountain Roubaix.

Shaun Radley, who works for the Cycling House in Missoula, helped organize the event. Due to added interest, this is the first year it was broken into stages.

"I have been telling people that a finish is a win here," Radley said. "If you can finish all three it is one of the best feelings coming home at night on Sunday, and it is not about anything but just knowing that you did it. I love seeing people push themselves and do things that they did not think they can do."

The majority of riders are from Montana, but participants also came from Canada, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

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