June 2, 2022

Rob Britton takes on the gravel with Classified

Rob Britton may have retired from professional road cycling but the 37-year-old Canadian has no plans to hang up the bike anytime soon. In fact, he’s enthusiastically embracing a new chapter in the competitive gravel scene this season and he’s doing it with Classified on board!

This year Britton is racing a loaded gravel calendar namely the 2022 Life Time Grand Prix, an off-road cycling series that includes 6 world-class off-road cycling events, notably the upcoming 200-mile Unbound Gravel, that takes place this Saturday, June 4th in Emporia, Kansas. Britton was one of the 60 riders selected to compete in this innovative series that combines three mountain bike races & three gravel races into an elite competition.

After a baptism of fire at the Sea Otter Classic, where he finished eighth out of the Grand Prix roster and tenth overall, the former Canadian Time-trial champion boosted his Felt bike with Classified’s Powershift Hub. “I think the first time I’d really heard or seen anything about the Classified Powershift system was probably on a GCN segment about a year ago. But what tuned me in more recently was when my good friend Seamus Magrath called me out of the blue and told me he had some game-changer level tech that I should seriously look into,” said Britton who was quick to spot the competitive advantages that Classified could provide. “There are a few different aspects that really caught my eye, obviously drivetrain efficiency is a big one, as you can run a really clean front end with the 1x system and still maintain a very tight gear ratio cassette in the back. Plus, I love the way the 1x drivetrain looks as well!”

With all but a few days to get familiar with the system Britton made his “Classified” debut at the Belgian Waffle ride, affectionately known as the BWR. Despite struggling with a bad bout of cramps on the opening race, Britton bounced back in style and rode to an emphatic victory on the Belgian Wafer Ride the very next day. The win, the first on a Powershift hub, earned him a second placing overall in the Belgian Waffle Ride Dubbel Header, the two-day competition that combines the 137-mile Waffle Ride on Saturday, April 30th and the 77-mile Wafer ride on Sunday. The Classified journey was off to a great start!

“The BWR was an event that truly threw EVERYTHING at us. I was very impressed with the reliability of the Powershift hub under some pretty extreme conditions as well as thankful that it worked as well as it does. I was able to drop it into the virtual small ring more than a few times under full load and it saved me from having to dismount and run like a lot of other guys,” explained the former Canadian Time-trial champion. “I was very impressed with how intuitive and easy it was to learn the Classified shifting system. Once you have the sprint shifter mounted where you want it on the handlebar it’s incredibly easy to use and get used to. What impresses me even more is just how much I use the Powershift hub now versus before with a front derailleur setup when I was riding in the big ring almost all of the time.”

After a successful 12-year road racing career, during which he won the GC at the 2017 Tour of Utah and stage wins at the Tour de Beauce and the overall title of the Tour de Gila in 2018 Britton made the transition to gravel grinder, a longing that had been brewing for a quite a while:

“Gravel cycling/adventures by bike had been a growing priority in my career for the last half decade. It’s something that became a more serious thought over the last few years and was derailed a little bit during the pandemic. I knew my time in road racing had more or less run its course but I still felt very competitive and gravel racing, as well as the mountain bike events within the Life Time Grand Prix, and a few other events have allowed me to stay very competitive and scratch that itch whilst also still getting to adventure more than I ever have. It really is the best of all worlds and I’m very excited for what’s to come next,” said Britton.

Following the solid showing at BWR Rob Britton scored third place overall in the challenging Grinduro event in California on May 20th and is looking to carry the momentum heading into his first Unbound Gravel this weekend.

“This new world of gravel racing is extremely exciting to me and to be honest I want to be as successful as I can be. To win one of these big events would be a big deal to me and really important for my sponsors as well so that’s definitely one of the goals. I have a few bikepacking adventures in mind as well so I’m excited to take the Classified Powershift hub to some pretty remote places this year not just across finish lines!”

Classified’s Powershift hub replaces the functionality of the front derailleur using a more efficient, wireless shifting technology in the rear hub. What does it mean? Cyclists can now change gears instantaneously, under full load and with uncompromised ratio coverage and gear steps.

The Flint hills of the gravel capital of the world are calling and Classified is thrilled to be along for the ride. Follow Rob Britton’s adventures this season through his social media accounts at:

Rob Britton's InstagramRob Britton's Strava
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Written by
Eva Tomé