BWGA is only in its third year, but we’re already generating some buzz in the gravel world. While we have a ways to go to play fully with the big boys, we’re patient and will happily grow at a level at which we can attain our high standards. We’ll have 400 riders coming to the start/finish line this year with a competitive 100 and 62-mile field. Here are just a few of the riders from 17 states and two countries making the trek down to Franklin, Georgia.

Lauren De Crescenzo

2021 UNBOUND Gravel champion and LifeTime Grand Prix contender Lauren De Crescenzo is set to conquer the challenging terrains of the Border Wars Gravel Race. Known for her grit and determination, Lauren has notched up victories in various cycling disciplines, showcasing her versatility on two wheels.

But it’s not just about racing. Lauren is a champion of the crucial message of traumatic brain injury awareness. She aims for her performances to showcase tenacity, grit, and hard work in the face of adversity.

With an eye on the podium, Lauren De Crescenzo is geared up for an exhilarating performance at the Border Wars Gravel Race. Lauren will be on her trusty Factor Ostro equipped and Maxxis Ramblers, with her Castelli jersey pockets full of as many carbs as possible from The! (Note: Where you can happen to fill up with our energy drink sponsor Tailwind)

Michael Garrison

I’m 22 years from Decatur, Georgia and I’m a professional cyclist for MGR p/b NICH SpeedClub. After 4 years racing professionally around the world I’m beyond excited to return back to my roots, representing my community and continuing to build my life around the sport I love most. This year I’m tackling the most diverse calendar that American bike racing has ever seen; showing the world there is no one path in sport while carrying my city on my back. Racing is a testament to the dedication, the spirit of resilience, perseverance, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. This brand is not only about high performance but a representation of the values instilled in me by my hometown. I aim to inspire the next generation, forging a sense of community and camaraderie through the bike. I’m thankful to my Atlanta partners NICH SpeedClub, Apto Solutions, SnapCare, as well as my equipment partners BMC, Wahoo Fitness, Kask, Koo, and Cuore.

Mackenzie Myatt

I am an elite cyclist from Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia. I write about the idiosyncrasies of chasing excellence in sport and in life. For as long as I can remember, I have been writing poetry to process the world around me. I was a pretty shy, anxious kid and writing was the best way I knew to express myself. In my teenage years, poetry became a lifeline for all of the things I couldn’t say out loud. Now, it is the best way I know how to share all of the things that inspire me.

I have been active and competitive for as long as I can remember. I was a gymnast for 10 years before I decided to commit to cycling. My U23 years saw several invitations to National Team projects, World Cup projects, World Championships, Top-20 performances in Europe and National Championship podiums in Canada and the US. Collegiate racing gave me the perfect environment to practice racing to win, an education and many cherished memories. I currently race whatever events excite me, no matter the discipline. In 2024 I will race for Goldman Sachs ETFs Racing on the road and Baring Performance Management for all other surfaces. My most recent claim to fame is winning my first UCI cyclocross race at the Nash Dash C1 weekend in Hampton, GA.

I have a BFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta and currently live in Atlanta, GA with my husband and coach, Artur Sagat.

About her book:

I wrote In Defense of Big Dreams because I wanted to share what makes me tick and how to harness it. I want to inspire not just girls and women through sport, but everyone to act on their potential. It’s amazing what can happen when you consistently show up for yourself and take risks. This book came at a time in my life when I decided to stop taking the path of least resistance and trust myself. Something had to change and in that, I tried to change as many things as possible. I didn’t want to tweak the rules, I wanted to chuck them out the window. I hope this book inspires readers to do the same.

About Strong Girl Publishing: 

Strong Girl Publishing makes athletically-oriented books + content for middle grade and young adult girls, written by young women athletes. Girls deserve to see themselves in books about sport. They need to see themselves in sport. In publishing, there is a space in the market for smart books about girls in different facets of sport—both in terms of books where sport is the primary topic, and books where sport is simply a natural part of the narrative. Traditional publishers still don’t see this space as one that is viable commercially. We strongly disagree. And we’re going to prove it.

Check out Strong Girl Publishing