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Updated: Oct 20, 2020



Kaysee Armstrong and Joshua Berry defend Queen’s Stage Race Titles, Armstrong and Colin Strickland take the win in the 102-mile Baked Potato; New Course Records Set

Event Drives Fundraising Total over $44,400 for Be Good™ Foundation, Benefitting Four Bike Causes.

KETCHUM, IDAHO (September 9, 2019) – Seven-time world champion, professional cyclist, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Inductee and globally celebrated endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch welcomed a record-breaking sold-out field of 1,200 riders to her hometown and drove fundraising efforts that raised $44,400 for global, national and local bike causes. Rusch’s seventh annual signature event, Rebecca’s Private Idaho presented by MiiR is one of the world’s largest and most celebrated gravel cycling events.  The event has grown to include gravel cycling’s first stage race -- encompassing a four day festival that is now a driving force behind the huge surge in gravel cycling.  

Participation in the multi-day festival, which draws a mix of professional cyclists from a range of bike disciplines as well as amateur athletes, grew 36% compared to 2018, with events spanning Labor Day weekend in the Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho area.  In addition, this year’s field was comprised of 35% women. 

Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) events include The Queen’s Stage Race: a 4-day series of gravel bike races, and multiple course options on Sunday:  the 20-mile TaterTot, 58 mile French Fry or 102 mile Baked Potato course. The RPI festival also includes how-to clinics, social events, live music and two race expos.

“I started Rebecca’s Private Idaho to share my backyard with cycling friends and showcase this world-class terrain. I’m amazed by RPI’s growth in both numbers and mission: from a local bike race to a global movement that has inspired a huge interest in gravel cycling and supports organizations from Idaho to Africa through related fundraising for my Be Good™ Foundation,” said Rusch. “We’re now a four day event that not only raises money for important bike related charities, but we have become the area’s biggest sporting event and a serious driver for the local economy and tourism.”  

Joshua Berry defended his 2018 title in the 4-day Queen’s Stage again this year with a combined time of 8:10:54,431. Kaysee Armstrong also repeated her win in The Queen’s Stage race in the women’s field, winning each stage, including Sunday’s signature 102-mile Baked Potato course in a time of 5:39:00,965, for a combined winning stage race time of 9:17:09;917.  Colin Strickland took top honors in the Baked Potato in 5:04:37,035. In the 58 mile French Fry, Jesse Thomas and Caitlyn Vestal grabbed first place in their divisions. In the TaterTot 20 miler, 16 year old Zane Lyon took the win in the Men’s division and 14 year old Paige Dehart took the top spot for the Women.  Full results are here.

Because of new, more technical additions to the Baked Potato new course records were established this year by Berry and Armstrong in the Queen’s Stage Race; by Strickland and Armstrong in the Baked Potato course.

This year’s event lived up to its growing number of accolades, cited as one of the world’s 25 best bike rides by Outside Magazine and one of the top five gravel cycling events by Global Cycling Network.

Proceeds from various aspects of the event including VIP party, online auction, and merchandise sales went to Rusch’s Be Good™ Foundation which will direct funds to global, national and local bike organizations including World Bicycle Relief,, Idaho’s Interscholastic Cycling League and The Wood River Trails Coalition.  In addition, presenting sponsor MiiR pledged a donation of up to $15,000, which included a matching challenge grant of $5,000 to inspire additional fundraising from riders and spectators.  And a new Rebecca’s Private Idaho partner this year was Sun Valley Records, which programmed live music for the weekend’s Off the Wagon party and created a compilation, “Picture in My Mind,” whose title track was inspired by the story of Rebecca and her father, with 10% of proceeds going to Be Good Foundation.  

“Inside the Gravel” with Steve Porino and Patrice Diallo

Also new for 2019, one of cycling’s favorite duos added unique perspective during The Queen’s Stage Race:  NBC Sports Network journalist and Sun Valley resident Steve Porino, and Patrice Diallo, his long-time professional motorcycle driver at the Tour de France, hit the gravel roads of Idaho to provide a fun twist on their typical grand tour coverage in videos produced by Adventure Scout Media and Idarado Media.  These and full RPI video coverage are available here.


Rebecca’s Private Idaho presented by MiiR is also supported by Patrón Tequila, Limelight Hotels, Altra Footwear, Smith Optics, Assos, Orange Seal, Wilderness Trail Bikes, Maxxis Tires, Niner Bikes, Gu Energy Labs, ENVE Composites, Garmin, WD40-Bike, SRAM, Cox Communications, Zions Bank, Light & Motion Bike Lights, People for Bikes, Sync Vans and Sawtooth Brewery, 

@RebeccaRusch #JoinThe Rusch #RPIgravel

Photos available here.

Videos - YouTube Playlist 2019 RPI available here.

Videos for Instagram available here.

RPI 2019 Photo: Linda Guerrette

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