The first Gravel World Championship was won on a road bike

Gravel 10/10/22 12:23 Migue A.

Belgian Gianni Vermeersch has become the first UCI Gravel World Champion, but he did it on a road bike: the Canyon Ultimate CFR.

The Canyon Ultimate CFR of Gianni Vermeersch and Mathieu van der Poel

Gianni Vermeersch chose a Canyon Ultimate CFR to win the Gravel World Championship

The Alpecin-Deceuninck team shared a post the week before the World Championships suggesting that the Canyon Grizl would be the model used by its riders to race. It was Canyon's most non-racing gravel model, but even Mathieu van der Poel shared a pre-race workout on his Strava account on the bike.

Full Shimano Dura-Ace road groupset. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur with 52-36t dual chainring and 11-34t cassette.


On the day of the race it was confirmed that the final choice was a completely different one. Both Gianni Vermeersch and Mathieu van der Poel opted for a Canyon Ultimate CFR, a road model, configured for gravel terrain. A choice that seems more appropriate considering that the course was practically flat with no technical or very rough sections.

33 mm front tyre: not very aerodynamic and with the possibility of rubbing in sprints, but with a lot of traction.


One of the keys to this set-up is the choice of low-profile Shimano Dura-Ace C36 wheels with 33 mm tyres at the front and 35 mm tyres at the rear. This goes beyond Canyon's recommendations, which for this model indicate a maximum tyre size of 32 mm at the front.

Vittoria Pit Stop puncture repair kit on the bottle cage
Virtually identical set-up for Van der Poel and Gianni Vermeersch
Selle Italia Tape
Canyon CP0015 Handlebars
Dura-Ace wheels with 33 mm front and 35 mm rear tubeless Victoria Terreno Dry tyres
Shimano Dura-Ace road pedals

Gianni Vermeersch's complete Canyon Ultimate CFR set-up

  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate CFR, size S
  • Handlebars: Canyon Aerocockpit CP0015 with Selle Italia tape
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. 170 mm crankset with 52/36 power meter. Cassette 11-34
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace Road 9100
  • Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace C36
  • Tyres: Tubeless Victoria Terreno Dry TNT, 700×33 mm at front and 700×35 mm at rear
  • Bottle cage: Elite Prism with Vittoria Pit Stop liquid sealant holder
  • Saddle: Italia Flite Superflow



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¿Prefieres leer la versión en Español?

El primer Mundial de Gravel se ha ganado con una bici de carretera


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O primeiro Mundial de Gravel foi ganho com uma bicicleta de estrada