Cromwell, Skujins grab solo wins at inaugural FNLD GRVL race

Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) won the inaugural Finland Gravel race, known as FNLD GRVL, on Saturday across the 177km ‘Midnight Sun’ route. 

For Cromwell, it was her fourth victory on gravel in four events, having won a week ago at Unbound Gravel 100. Her solo victory in Emporia, Kansas came across a wet and muddy course and a massive margin of more than 25 minutes over second-placed Maria Doering. The Australian dominated the field again but this time by slightly under nine minutes on dry double track and wide gravel roads that wound past freshwater lakes and dense forests north of Lahti, Finland. She finished in a time of 5:14:00.

Heidi Franz (DNA Pro Cycling), who won Hutchinson Ranxo Gravel in early June,  remained in chase mode until the finish line, trailing in second overall for women by 8:59. Another 15 minutes ticked by before Tiia Tulokas (Reaktor Stanga Racing) finished third, one-and-a-half minutes in front of Maja Johansson (Team Rule 58 x WMNGRVL) and Annabel Fisher (Cafe du Cycliste), who sprinted for fourth and fifth, respectively. 

Other notables among the pro women’s field were Angela Naeth in ninth, Unbound Gravel 200 winner Carolin Schiff in 13th, Kae Takeshita in 18th and Alison Tetrick in 29th.

Skujins called the ride “wicked fast” as he also rode solo across the finish, but with only 1:14 to his advantage after 4 hours, 46 minutes, 9 seconds. The duo of Anttijussi Juntunen (ABLOC CT) and Paul Voss (Aut’Said) sprinted in the chase, with Juntunen taking second ahead of Voss, who won 3RIDES in Germany.

A runner-up at Unbound Gravel 200, Petr Vakoc placed fourth in Finland, less than a minute in front of Brennan Wertz and Peter Stetina.

Other notable pro men crossing the finish line well off the winning pace were Jasper Ockeloen in eighth, Nicolas Roche in 10th, 2022 Unbound Gravel 200 champion Ivar Slik in 12th and Kerry Werner Jr in 15th.

The Midnight Sun route, the longest of the trio, provided a prize purse of 20,000 split evenly among the top five finishers in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Cromwell, along with partner and F1 driver Valtteri Bottas and SBT GRVL founder Amy Charity, brought the new off-road event to fruition this summer, providing three routes. Bottas finished third overall in the 77km lakes route, five minutes behind winner Jani Heikkinen and second-placed Joonas Jämsén. Emily Shields finished in the same time as Bottas for fourth overall and captured the women’s victory ahead of Katherine Shields.

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Results - pro women top 10 177km
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) 5:14:00
2Heidi Franz (DNA Pro Cycling) 0:08:59
3Tiia Tulokas (Reaktor Stanga Racing) 0:23:35
4Maja Johansson (Team Rule 58 x WMNGRVL) 0:25:04
5Annabel Fisher (Cafe du Cycliste)
6Sara Hedberg 0:25:12
7Maisa Tuliniemi (Coontinental-Focus) 0:25:19
8Maija Hakala (M&Bros Endurance) 0:25:45
9Angela Naeth (girlsgetgritty) 0:26:39
10Guayén Minchot (Baroudeur Fietsclub) 0:27:15
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Results - pro men top 10 177km
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) 4:46:09
2Anttijussi Juntunen (ABLOC CT) 0:01:14
3Paul Voss (Aut’Said) 0:01:17
4Petr Vakoc 0:03:06
5Brennan Wertz (Above Category) 0:03:45
6Peter Stetina (Privateer's International) 0:05:02
7Siim Kiskonen (Tartu2024 Cycling) 0:07:43
8Jasper Ockeloen (Sockeloen) 0:07:45
9Andreas Schrottenbaum (Santic-Wibatech)
10Nicholas Roche (Nico roche racing) 1:08:10

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).