19. ANTHONY MOCCIA: & HEIDI MYERS: GRAVEL RACING’S GODPARENTS
Ten years ago, who would have predicted that the largest bike race in Vermont would draw nearly 1500 cyclists from around the country to the icy, muddy dirt roads of the Northeast Kingdom in… April? In 2013, Heidi Myers and Anthony Moccia were both working at cycling apparel company Louis Garneau and thinking about what they could do to bring more riders to the Northeast Kingdom in a season when tourism is virtually non-existent. And so Rasputitsa—a race, a ride, a sufferfest and a community celebration—was born. With parts of the course covered in snow, costumed yetis jumping out of the woods, maple syrup shots and a section of the gravel and dirt course called Cyberia, it became a fixture drawing top gravel riders and cylclocross racers from around the country.
“We’ve had people move here after riding in Rasputitsa,” says Myers proudly. Though she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016, and Covid-19 shut down the 2020 event, the work Myers and Moccia have put in (along with what former Vermonter Peter Vollers did with the Overland Grand Prix and new Vermonter Ted King and others are doing) has made Vermont a gravel riding destination.