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Orange Seal Off-Road Team: Mid South Gravel

Get a peek behind the curtain at brutal conditions at the gravel season's kickoff race

Orange Seal's "Family Seal" video producers followed along with the team at the 2020 Mid South gravel race, capturing the kickoff of the gravel season and what may turn out to be its final race as well. Episode 2 of the series highlights final race prep as team riders finalize their gear choices and build themselves up for a truly hard day on the bike. We then witness the powerful performances of team riders on the day.

The Mid South is legendary for serving up one of the toughest gravel races around, with the course often serving up heaping helpings of adversity. This year was no different. Fighting off hypothermia and conditions that added pounds of sticky mud to bikes and wheels, Orange Seal Off-Road riders Payson McElveen took the men’s trophy in 06:23, with teammate Hannah Finchamp winning the women’s race in 07:49. The victory came for McElveen as he wrestled with the loss of close friend Ben Sonntag, who was tragically killed by a driver while training the week before. Meanwhile, Finchamp fought off hypothermia for nearly 8 hours, succumbing to the cold only after crossing the finish line in first place.


This episode of Family Seal gives us a view into the efforts that create durable communities in cycling– within a race team, the larger racing scene, and ultimately reminding us of why we can't wait for things to get back to "normal" and provide us with new examples of people transcending pain and tragedy in order to achieve success.


Other videos coming up in the series include:

  • Dirty Kanza
  • Leadboat
  • Marathon Nationals
  • Oz Trails

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