Matej Mohoric wins Gravel World Championship with a huge Valverde in fourth place

Gravel 08/10/23 16:09 Migue A.

The Gravel World Championship 2023, the second edition of this event, went to the Slovenian Matej Mohoric in a race of real elimination. For his part, Alejando Valverde played an excellent role, moving all day in the leading positions and managing to finish in a creditable 4th place. Worse luck for the top favorite, Wout van Aert, who was knocked out of the fight by a crash.

Technique and strength, Matej Mohoric's recipe to win the 2023 Gravel World Championships

The second edition of the Gravel World Championship was a spectacular race, this time with hard climbs, technical sections and cyclists having to use gravel bikes and tyres for a demanding route that crossed the northern plains of the Veneto and the pre-dolomitic hills in a landscape dominated by vineyards where the gleva grape variety, used to make the famous Prosecco, is grown.

The race started very fast in a long flat section that led the riders from the start in Le Bandie to the first pass through the finish line located in Pieve di Soglio where all the favorites were grouped together. The race then entered mountainous terrain and the hard initial pace, added to the first difficulties of the day, produced the first selection.

At the second timing point, a group of 6 riders led by Alejandro Valverde with Connor Swift, Florian Vermeersch, Matej Mohoric, Paul Voss and Cameron Mason, but only 15 seconds ahead of a still large chasing group that did not include the big favorite for today: Wout van Aert.

The Belgian, who had already suffered mechanical problems in the initial part of the race, suffered a crash which caused him to lose more than 9 minutes, leaving him out of any chance of victory. Even so, Van Aert continued to race, fighting, with which he managed to make a remarkable comeback that took him from beyond the 100th place to 8th. It was all heart and soul in a season that hasn't exactly turned out the way he would have imagined.

Returning to the lead, the group would be selected in this mountainous loop to leave only Swift, Vermeersch and Mohoric in the lead, who opened a significant gap over their pursuers of more than a minute, a distance that would grow progressively making it clear that they would play the victory between them in the hard climbs that marked the last 30 km of the day.

In the first of them, San Vigilio, a short but very hard concrete ramp, Mohoric made it clear that he was the strongest and launched an attack that unhooked the British rider while Florian Vermeersch resisted with dignity on his wheel. However, the Slovenian would continue to tighten the rope, both on the climbs and on the descents until on the ascent to Le Serre, the most important climb of this final stretch, the Belgian finally gave in, leaving the road to victory open for Mohoric.

Even so, he did not trust the advantage achieved in the absence of references and continued to push both uphill and, above all, on the descents, asserting his excellent technique, which, at 3 of finish, did not put the heart in a fist when he went to the ground when he lost grip on his front wheel, fortunately without consequences beyond the wounded pride. Finally, Matej Mohoric reached the finish in Pieve di Soglio with 42 seconds ahead of Florian Vermeersch and almost 4 minutes over Connor Swift who closed the podium.

And a few minutes later, Alejando Valverde and Keegan Swenson appeared at the finish line and had managed to get rid of their companions to dispute the sprint for the chocolate medal. Of course, he who had what he had retained and Valverde showed us again that tip of speed that gave him so many victories throughout his professional career.

Kasia back on the winning track

On Saturday, the women's race took place, where the professional road racers showed their higher competitive level.

A very selective race in which, finally, after 4 years without stepping on the top of the podium, Kasia Niewiadoma broke her very long drought to take a fabulous victory ahead of the duet formed by Silvia Persico and Demi Vollering, who had to settle for the silver and bronze in a tight sprint that fell on the side of the Italian.

World Gravel Championships 2023 - Elite Men's Classification

  1. Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) 4h53'56
  2. Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) +42''
  3. Connor Swift (U.K.) 3'39''
  4. Alejandro Valverde (Spain) +6'47''
  5. Keegan Swenson (U.S.A.) +6'47''
  6. Quinten Hermans (Belgium) +7’23’’
  7. Simone Velasco (Italy) +7’51’’
  8. Wout van Aert (Belgium) +8’21’’
  9. Alessandro de Marchi (Italy) +9’07’’
  10. Sebastian Schönberger (Austria) +9’42’’

World Gravel Championships 2023 - Elite Women's Classification 

  1. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland) 4h49’44’’
  2. Silvia Persico (Italy) +32’’
  3. Demi Vollering (Netherlands) +32’’
  4. Yara Kastelijn (Netherlands) +1’29’’
  5. Lorena Wiebes (Netherlands) +1’33’’
  6. Lauren Stephens (U.S.A.) +4’02’’
  7. Simone Boilard (Canada) +5’19’’
  8. Niamh Fisher-Black (New Zealand) +5’23’’
  9. Gaia Realini (Italy) +6’03’’
  10. Tiffany Crownwell (Australia) +6’46’’



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Matej Mohoric vence el Mundial de Gravel con un enorme Valverde en cuarto lugar