Most people in all probability know Method 1 driver Valtteri Bottas finest for his work on the tarmac and 4 wheels. However for those who’ve been following alongside on social medial, you additionally in all probability know the Finnish athlete additionally has a factor for bikes.
SBT GRVL introduced immediately it partnered with Bottas to current FNLD GRVL, a brand new gravel race in Lahti, Finland. The inaugural occasion in June 2023 will supply two distances and pay out a €20k professional prize purse. The companions anticipate it to draw 1,500+ gravel riders from around the globe.
A race weekend full of actions and leisure will deal with environmental sustainability and local weather change advocacy efforts.
Bottas’ Hometown Gravel Paradise
For Bottas, the race hits near residence and actually at residence.
“I’ve been driving gravel round my hometown of Lahti, Finland for years and found SBT GRVL in Steamboat Springs, CO (USA) in 2021,” the veteran F1 driver mentioned. “I used to be impressed with such a world-class occasion. When [SBT’s] Amy Charity and Chris Lyman reached out to me about partnering on a race in Finland, I noticed it as an incredible alternative to construct one thing equally particular in Lahti.”
Gravel roads winding via the area’s lake-rich nation promise picturesque driving at FNLD GRVL. Lahti lies on the fringe of Finnish Lakeland, which pulls its identify and traits from the greater than 55,000 lakes that dot its forest-covered plateau.
“Lahti shares so many similarities with Steamboat Springs and what we really feel has made SBT GRVL profitable: unbelievable surroundings, limitless gravel roads, and a neighborhood that understands hospitality and infrastructure for internet hosting a significant sporting occasion,” mentioned Charity, SBT GRVL co-founder and proprietor.
Lyman, a advertising and marketing company co-owner and avid bicycle owner, added that Bottas’ enthusiasm for gravel driving helped breathe life into the idea.
“After we first approached Valtteri with the thought, it was evident how passionate he’s about gravel driving and his neighborhood, so with our mixed backgrounds, it was pure for us to crew as much as create a world-class gravel occasion,” he mentioned.
Registration for the inaugural FNLD GRVL weekend will open within the fall of 2022.