UCI Gravel World Championships route revealed

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for the first time UCI Gravel World Championships The route is revealed, and the opening event appears to be fast and steady.

Gravel worlds are scheduled to occur on white gravel roads From the Italian region of Veneto during the weekend from 8 to 9 October.

The routes rich in history begin at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Vicenza, pass near the city of Padua, and end in the medieval walled city of Cittadella, 25 km northeast of Vicenza.

The courses were designed by Angelo Forlan and Marco Menin, two former professional cyclists from Italy who were commissioned by PP Sport Events, the gravel worlds organizer. Milan-San Remo champion Filippo Pozzato leads the relatively new production company.

The gravel worlds courses will be about three-quarters of the typical Italian gravel sections – similar to those at Strade Bianche – and cobblestone sections. The remaining quarter will consist of asphalt roads.

The Elite Women, Women’s Age Group and Men’s 50+ categories will compete on Saturday 8 October on a 140-kilometre track with 69 percent gravel and 700 meters of altitude.

On Sunday, the elite men’s and under-49 age groups race on the same track, with the addition of a 25km final circuit. Age group riders will complete the circuit once for a total distance of 165 kilometers and 750 meters of elevation, while Elite men will complete it twice, for a total of 190 kilometers and 800 meters of elevation and a total of 73 percent of gravel.

According to Erwin Vervecken, a three-time world cyclocross champion from Belgium who organized UCI Gravel World Series Qualifying series, the Gravel Worlds course will see fast-paced tactical action, akin to road racing than off-road.

“From a tactical standpoint, it would be fun for the riders,” he said. “The first 20k is real hard gravel with a very steep 1k gravel start, then a very technical slope, which is wide enough but you still want to be on top.

“After 20k, to me, it looks like a full peloton would spread out in small groups because it was up and down. Then it would be completely flat.”

Vervecken, who has led the UCI Gran Fondo World Series for a long time, has organized 12 UCI Gravel World Series races this year. The 12-race series began in the Philippines in April and concludes the weekend of September 17-18 with races in the Netherlands and Spain. The riders who ranked in the top 25 percent of their age group and gender qualified for the worlds.

The National Associations also issued 20 places for the far cards for riders who were unable to qualify in a world race.

Verviken said that compared to qualifying, the gravel worlds course is “more common on the roads, so it’s interesting.”

“The tactics in the middle segment are going to be very exciting,” he said. “If you decide to go full speed in the beginning, you could end up with 4-5 in the lead, but a group of 30 with the wheels back can change the whole race.

“It’s a very technical final, the last k is full gravel and then a sprint downtown with the last 200k on the asphalt.”