RACE REPORT: 2022 Bill Bone x Conte’s Gravel Palm Beach
Two Alpha Cycling racers podium at the Bill Bone/Conte's Bike Shop Gravel Palm Beach race on May 1, 2022.

We had four Alpha Cycling racers line up at the start today. Joann Betz and I each raced the 44 miler in our respective age groups. Pete Dwyer raced the 26 mile Masters 60+ and Xavier Kelley raced the 26 mile Masters 40-49. I was glad to be back doing some distance after the recent Florida State Time Trial race. Time trials are fun, but distance is really my favorite, and I plan to do some big distances later this year. So this was a good distance to test out some things and learn from that. Despite some ominous weather reports earlier in the week, race day was gorgeous! The spotty storms in the few days before helped pack down the very sandy course and gave us the faster course we all wanted.

Apoxee Wilderness is a local and personal favorite because of its feeling of being way out in the wilderness, but really only a couple of miles from the nearest Publix. It’s also the only gravel course in South Florida with consistent shade, making it a welcome break during the hot hot hot summer months. Bonus, the tree cover gives a little protection from our incessant winds.

Joann rode with me for the duration of the race, and while I assured her that I didn’t know everyone on course, she didn’t believe me because there were so many calling out greetings to me along the way. I do love my local gravel folks. Always great to see them out on course and especially appreciate all of the folks that showed up to volunteer at the race!

Mel Westmoreland
44 Mile Women's 40-49
2nd Place Podium!

We were having maybe not our best ever race days and were glad to have each other there so we could work together — what else are teammates for! Together we dodged a crash in front of us, and fought through the sections with strong headwinds. We pushed through the race together and each took 2nd place on the podium in our age groups and even PR’d some segments on the course!

JoAnn Betz
2nd Place Podium
44 Mile Women's 60+

ESPtiming did a great job marking the course clearly. On a course with a lot of u-turns and interconnecting trails, that’s really appreciated! Glad to see on-site medics since the sandy corners and two-way traffic on an otherwise fast course increased the chances of accidents on course. Racers had good options for the post-race recovery fueling, too!

Many thanks to Conte’s Bike Shop, who was onsite for support before, during and after the race, and crewed the neutral support tent at the midway point in the course loop. A fast course meant a lot of people were racing light, and it’s always great to have a backup option in case you don’t have the day you planned and suddenly need a refill or a snack!

A special shout out to Conte’s for supporting me and the group of women I helped prepare for their first gravel races. Alpha Cycling's mission is getting more women on bikes and as an Alpha Woman, I really appreciate their commitment to that same goal.

Looking forward to next season!

About Alpha Cycling: 
Our mission is to elevate the sport of cycling and promote our sponsors through participation in local cycling events, group rides, social media, and an aggressive race schedule. We are leaders in the women's cycling community, working together to encourage and support each other while testing our limits and exceeding our goals. We always represent our sponsors with integrity and enthusiasm through our passion for cycling. We are striving to create a strong and welcoming community of women cyclists who enjoy the sport of cycling whether competitively, for fitness or just for fun. While we focus on building the women's cycling community, the Alpha Cycling club is open to all cyclists, regardless of gender or level of experience.

Alpha Cycling, Inc. is a Florida-based 501c3 Not for Profit corporation. 

For more information about Women's Cycling in Florida, please see our About Us page. If you are interested in supporting our mission to get more women involved in the sport of cycling, please contact us.