Lining up right next to the ex-WorldTour pros, cyclocross sensation Cameron Mason looked confident about tackling the upcoming UCI gravel race, Gralloch. That is perhaps because this is the closest UCI gravel race the 22-year-old will get to race near his home country, Scotland. We caught the rider on the evening before the race and took a look at his Specialized S-Works Crux which easily wins the brightest bike in the race prize.
The bike in question is of course the Specialized S-Works Crux, with a very bright pink Trinity Racing team paint job. The team is very much known for its style, which made it easy to spot Mason on the 113km long course.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason- detail, by Suvi loponen
Mason was going to the race with the hopes of placing high and that is exactly what he did, securing an overall sixth spot and fifth in his age category, finishing only 12 minutes behind the race winner Connor Swift.
He was the only rider from Trinity Racing at the Gralloch and admitted that teammates would be useful, but not something you really see at gravel races.
“I think at some other races we’ll have some teammates. Gravel is really selective so teammates are not always useful, but even if it’s just draft, or help with mechanicals. I don’t think it’s something that many teams have tried yet, you know, having team tactics in a gravel race.
Not even in America, you know, the difference that a teammate could make, I’m surprised no one has tried to fight and start working together. All the gravel races I’ve done have been very much like ‘everyone to themself’,” Mason said.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason- rear, by Suvi loponen
Going back to his bike setup, which reflects the no-team-support nature of the race. Mason brought some of his mountain biking success into the gravel race, as his Crux is equipped with a mullet drivetrain setup.
This means he’s paired the 46t chainring with Sram’s mountain bike rear mech and a whopping 10-52t cassette. The setup, as the Scotsman put it, is less likely to result in chain drops which plagued riders on the chunky gravel course. The pedals are Time, as was the case for many Sram groupset riders.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason- fork, by Suvi loponen
The wide gear ratio came in hand on the course, which kicked off with a 6km climb.
“Overall, the course is a mix of speed. There are some very short, punchy climbs, so positioning into the climbs and into the downhills is important,” Mason said about the course.
The bike is specced with Specialized and Roval throughout, featuring the newest, lightweight Roval Terra CLX wheels with Pathfinder 42mm gravel tyres with 29PSI at the front, and 31 at the rear.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason cockpit, by Suvi loponen
The cockpit consists of a 120mm stem and attached to that are Roval Terra handlebars wrapped in Supacaz bar tape. On the bars, Mason also has a computer mount with a slot for his camera (he’s got his own youtube channel) and nothing else.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason saddle bag, by Suvi loponen
The saddle is a Specialized Power, and underneath it sits a tool roll from Angry Bablo. Inside the roll is a spare inner tube, Co2 canister, and plugs - Mason says because you get no mechanical support at gravel races, it’s best to come prepared.
As for future races, Mason said his focus after the Gralloch will be on mountain biking leading up to the August World Championships, then he’s going to switch back to gravel to prepare for the Gravel World Champs in Italy in October.
2023 Gralloch - Cameron Mason- front triangle, by Suvi loponen
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