Michael van den Ham may be Canada’s elite men’s cyclocross national champ, but the Abbotsford rider is having one heck of a season on gravel. The Giant rider now has back-to-back wins, at Grinduro and now at Lost and Found Gravel.
The pair of U.S. wins comes just after his victory on home soil at Paris to Ancaster, too.
For Lost and Found, van den Ham was back in California. The long-running gravel event takes place against the stunnign backdrop of Portola and the Sierra Buttes. On his way to winning, van den Ham had the chance to take in five hours and 36 minutes worth of vistas, as well as chunky gravel and technical descents.
Van den Ham won in a 70-km solo attack, just holding off Ryan Gorman and Sandy Floren at the line by two minutes. U.S. World Cup winner Christopher Blevins rolled in a short while later in fifth after being held up by a flat tire.
Serena Gordon won the pro women’s race ahead of Easton Overland’s Caitlin Bernstein. Anna Yamauchi rounded out the podium in third place.
Gravel races always involve an element of community, be that between racers or connecting with the locals. This is especially true of Lost and Found this year. Hosting the event was a major milestone for Portola as it builds back from the devastating Dixie Fire. The massive forest fire tore through the surrounding Sierra Buttes, threatening the town and its tourism-based economy.