The Italian region of Veneto once again hosts the Gravel World Cup although, with notable changes compared to the first edition of this competition which was criticized for the low demands of the route as well as for other aspects such as prioritizing on the starting grid professional cyclists from other disciplines instead of those who, throughout the season, have been competing regularly in the UCI Gravel Series.
Valverde in search of the rainbow
Second edition of the Gravel World Cup, which aims to consolidate itself on the calendar and which, maintaining its position at the end of the season, continues to seek attract professionals from other disciplines although the coincidence with such important races as Il Lombardia on the road or the XCO World Cup Review at Mont Sainte Anne does not help.
In any case, great participation in the Elite categories and the hope that we will see a global attraction with a route defined at the last minute but which approaches the skirts of the Dolomites making the hardness is noticeably greater that of the island course we saw in the first edition of the Gravel World Championship.
2023 Gravel World Championship route
After several tensions with the organization that was responsible for bringing the previous World Cup finally, a few months before the dispute of this Review, the UCI decided to dispense with it and count on another organizer. As the first major change, it was decided to move the headquarters of this contest. Without leaving the Veneto region, they set their sights north of the city of Treviso.
the Review will start at Lac le Bandie and will head north towards the town of Pieve di Soglio where the organization is centralized of the Review and the finish area. A town located at the foot of the mountains, terrain that will be used by making several loops, through which the race will pass several times through the finish area.
In the case of men, will have to face a route of 169 kilometers with one cumulative difference in level of 1,890 m concentrated in this mountainous area that we mentioned to you and which covers a first part between kilometers 30 and 90 approximately in which 5 ascents are linked, and a second loop in the last 20 kilometers in which 4 more climbs are linked. In the middle and at the beginning, long flat transition areas.
In the case of the women’s race, the Review will have 140 kilometers, another of the improvements of this edition, attending to the claims of the cyclists who asked to do the same route as the men. In proportion, the women’s event is almost harder going all the way to the 1,660 m of cumulative difference. A virtually identical event with the only difference being a small cut in the first hilly loop which removes two of the climbs faced in the men’s event.
Favorites for the 2023 World Gravel Championship
Once again, road professionals and ex-professionals are placing their bets on who will be the new wearer of the gravel jersey.
In the men’s category, number 1 number will be defended by the reigning champion Gianni Vermeersch who will obviously seek to revalidate the title achieved a year ago.
His main rival for the triumph and surely, top favorite if we take into account the level shown this week in the Italian classics at the end of the season is, without a doubt, Wout van Aert who arrives ready to finish the 2023 campaign with a good taste in his mouth after a year in which he has done nothing but accumulate second places. He will have a hard bone to gnaw on in the figure of Matej Mohoric who, together with the Movistar cyclist Iván García Cortina or the Total Energies Daniel Oss complete the payroll of active professionals who will take the start in this Gravel World Cup.
However, despite the fact that they are active professionals, we cannot fail to mention as a great favorite the triumph of a portent of giving pedals who, in addition, this year has focused on competing in this specialty. We’re talking, of course, about Don Alexandre Valverdewho despite retiring from professional cycling has continued to train and take care of himself as if he were one of them and arrives in the Veneto with every intention of imposing his class.
We will also have to see how capable the gravel specialists are, among whom we can find names like de Paul Voss, who finished a few days ago in third place in the European Gravel Championship after Jasper Stuyven and Tim Merlier; the also ex-road professional but dedicated to gravel for a few years Nathan Hass, Jasper Ockeloen or Ivar Slik, although, as has been shown in other races, their level is usually a point below that shown by active cyclists road
As for the girls, it is worth highlighting the absence of current champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, affected a few days ago by covid. However, we can practically find level names in the record the most select of the professional road pilot with runners such as Demi Vollering, Lorena Wiebes, Kasia Niewiadoma, Gaia Realini… and the most notable name among the gravel specialists is the Argentinian Sofia Gómez Villafañe.
Schedules 2023 Gravel World Championship
Saturday October 7
- 10:30 – departure elite women
- 10:40 – departure male age group 50-54
- 10:41 – start age group 55-59 male
- 10:42 – start age group 60-64 male
- 10:43 – departure age group 19-34 female
- 10:44 – departure age group 35-39 female
- 10:45 – departure age group 40-44 female
- 10:46 – departure age group 45-49 female
- 10:47 – departure age group +65 male
- 10:48 – departure age group +50 female
- 15:00 – Arrival of elite women
Sunday, October 8
- 10:30 – elite men start
- 10:40 – start age groups 19-34 men
- 10:41 – start age groups 35-39 men
- 10:40 – start age groups 40-44 men
- 10:40 – start age groups 45-49 men
- 15:30 – Arrival of elite men
Where to watch the 2023 Gravel World Championship
As happened a few days ago with the European Championship, it is to be expected Eurosport broadcast this World Gravel 2023 although only through its online application when the dispute of this event coincides on Saturday with the dispute of Il Lombardía and on Sunday with the Paris-Tours in terms of cycling and an important Snooker championship which is contested throughout these days, a sport to which this channel gives special importance due to its important following.
However, as we said, it is to be expected be broadcast solely through its online platform although, at the time of preparing this information, there was no confirmation of the broadcast of the World Cup in the channel’s schedule for next weekend.