Van der Poel looks forward to first gravel world championship: ‘Adaptation to cobblestone wasn’t too bad’

Van der Poel looks forward to first cobblestone world championship: ‘Adaptation to the cobbled bike wasn’t that bad’

Monday October 3, 2022 at 15:57

Matthew van der Poel will no longer be in road racing this season, but will return next Sunday in competition. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider takes part in the first world gravel championship in the Italian region of Veneto. Van der Poel is looking forward to the all-new event.

Van der Paul had already announced at the end of 2021 that he was considering participating in the pebbles World Cup. In Veneto, Greg van Avermaet, Gianni Vermeersch, Zdenek Stebar, Peter Sagan, Daniel Oss, and fellow nationals such as Peter Havic, Jasper Okelloen and Ivar Slick, winner of the Unbound Gravel will compete. “We will write a piece of history on Sunday,” Van der Poel briefly looks back at the World Cup finals.

“Modification on a cobbled bike wasn’t too bad for me”
“It will be the first gravel race of my career, although it’s not entirely new to me either. I trained on the gravel bike for the first time today and it feels like something between road racing and cyclocross. Modifying the bike wasn’t too bad for me.” At the moment, we cannot notice the Dutchman’s boast. “It’s especially great to be there. And if the feeling is good on Sunday, then of course we will do everything we can to get the best result possible.”

The Clay World Championships will take place on October 8 and 9, in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. The elite men will face a race of about 190 kilometers on Sunday. Vincenza is the starting place, while the end is in Citadel. About 75 percent of the course consists of gravel roads. In the opening phase, there are several steep slopes in the program, and in the second part more even roads are sought.

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Serenissima Gravel in the second gravel race
Van der Poel is not the only Alpecin-Deceuninck rider to appear in the Veneto. Gianni Vermeersch will also participate in his first claycourt World Cup on Sunday. For Van der Poel and Vermeersch, it won’t stop at this year’s World Cup. Both riders will also start on Friday 14 October at Serenissima Gravel (14 October), a gravel race in the Veneto region. Last year the first edition was held and the victory went to Alexei Lutsenko.

After the Serenissima Gravel, a respite follows, after which Van der Poel and Vermeersch begin the cyclocross season on a date to be determined.

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