GCN Show: Can a full-time gravel racer win the Gravel World Champs?

With the UCI Gravel World Championships happening this weekend how will the road racers fair against the gravel specialists?

Clock09:23, Wednesday 4th October 2023

This week on the GCN Show, Si Richardson and Dan Lloyd talk about all things gravel, ahead of the UCI Gravel World Championships this weekend. With road riders like Wout van Aert and Lorena Wiebes turning up for the races in Veneto, Italy over the weekend, we look set for a big mix of gravel specialists and road race stars.

So the big question is can a specialist gravel rider actually win the Gravel World Championships? While both Dan and Si are a bit sceptical of the chances of riders like Keegan Swenson and Sofia Gomez Villafañe, they're hoping the gravel racers do well against the road riders who have loads more funding and training available to them. What do you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

We have both a preview for the UCI Gravel World Championships, along with the provisional start list and, we'll be bringing you on-the-ground coverage all weekend. And while we're talking about gravel, make sure you check out our latest GCN+ documentary – Unbound this week which follows all the preparation and the full race experience from our very own Conor Dunne as he tackles the Unbound 200 head on.

Other talking points from the show this week:

  • A French cycling company, Pi-pop, has designed the first e-bike without a battery. The bike stores energy “electro-statically and not chemically,” therefore it does not need a lithium battery. It also charges itself when you ride along.
  • The UK Department of Transport shows that fatalities for cyclists are down on UK roads from 100 to 91. While perceptions seem to differ from that trend to safety, that trend is encouraging. However, the UK Government is posturing towards a pivot back to cars.
  • Mathieu van der Poel has restated his aim to go for gold in the mountain bike at the 2024 Paris Olympics, despite road racing being his priority for most of the year. To do that, he would have to take some time early in the season away from the road to ride in the UCI MTB World Cups to get points for a starting position and qualify for the Netherlands.
  • Classified has a detailed response to the claims that its system lacks efficiency. The report is up on the GCN website, which you can read here.

There are some very intriguing Hack/Bodges featured this week. You can cast your vote in the GCN app now by clicking on the posts below. And don't forget to submit your best efforts via the app for a chance to be featured in a forthcoming show.

Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network

Coming up on GCN this week:

  • How To Get Strong Legs - building strength on the bike with Hank and Manon
  • I Learnt This From Cycling - Life Lessons from our presenters after a lifetime in the saddle!
  • The UCI Ban That Screwed Us All Without Us Knowing - Conor Dunne gives his take on clip on TT bars
  • What’s The Best FTP Test? - Hank has been trying a different one every day for seven days, to find the best results.
  • Conor Versus Cyclo-cross - skills and techniques from the cyclo-cross track with Conor Dunne

Race coverage on GCN+:

  • Gran Piemonte - Thursday 5th October
  • UCI MTB World Series Mont St Anne - Friday 6th - Sunday 8th October
  • Il Lombardia - Saturday 7th October
  • Gravel World Championships - Sunday 8th October
  • Paris-Tours - Sunday 8th October
  • Tour of Türkiye - Sunday 8th October
  • Exact Cross Beringen - Sunday 8th October
    Across all our race coverage territory restrictions apply.

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