GCN Show: Was the live coverage debacle the UCI's worst gravel mistake yet?

Si Richardson and Dan Lloyd analyse the successes and failures of the second annual UCI Gravel World Championships

Clock19:30, Tuesday 10th October 2023

The UCI Gravel World Championships took place over the weekend in Veneto, Italy, with a fresh set of local race organisers, a brand-new and improved route, and a wider set of competitors than last year's inaugural edition. There were plenty of positives, but also a fair share of negatives.

For starters, the women's race was not broadcast live, in what can only be described as an incredibly disappointing oversight by the UCI, who stated that they were not aware of this until the women's race had begun. However, most major broadcasters had been informed of this letdown three days in advance.

Furthermore, coverage of the men's race was only one hour long and therefore the cameras had missed much of the decisive action.

Read more:

However, there was plenty to be happy about coming out of the second annual edition of the Gravel World Champs, in particular the passion that all the participants demonstrated for this relatively new discipline and event. Both winners, Kasia Niewiadoma and Matej Mohorič, spoke with great pride at having taken the rainbow bands, despite both of them coming from the WorldTour.

Read more: 'I kept getting yelled at by the Italians' - Gravel World Championships through the riders' eyes

The stars of the road dominated once again, but the parcours was far more inspiring than last year's drab affair, highlighting the benefits of including varied terrain such as steep climbs, rough gravel and even free-flowing streams.

In this week's GCN Show, Dan Lloyd and Si Richardson talk through the ups and downs of the Gravel World Champs and ponder what needs to change for next year's edition to be the best yet.

Elsewhere, there was plenty to talk about in this week's cycling shorts segment.

Cycling shorts

  • BMC launched their brand-new Teammachine R at Il Lombardia, which sees the Swiss brand partner with Red Bull yet again to apply its experience from the Formula 1 track to cycling's hottest new aerodynamic bike. Find out more.
  • Brompton faced a showdown with rival bike manufacturer, Bastille, who are making foldable bikes with full-sized wheels. This new French fleet of bikes offers 27.5-inch wheels, as opposed to Brompton's 16-inch offering. Find out more.
  • Companies in France move towards offering company bikes, rather than company cars. These bikes are generally e-bikes and the Federation of Bicycle Users reports up to 20,000 bikes are currently owned and used by companies in the country. Find out more.
  • Alejandro Valverde sprints to fourth at the UCI Gravel World Championships, but laughs off the suggestion of a comeback. The 43-year-old has only ridden a couple of thousand kilometres less than WorldTour pro Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in 2023, despite having retired from road racing. Find out more.

Hack/bodge

See what Si and Dan thought of this week's submissions and don't miss your chance to vote on them in the GCN app by clicking on the links below. If you have a great a hack then submit it via the app now for your chance to be featured on next week's show.

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

On the channels next week:

  • How to carry spares on your bike
  • Brand-new bit of bike tech that we can't mention yet
  • How to recover like a pro
  • New episode of the GCN Tech Show
  • Even more exciting brand-new bike tech we're not allowed to mention yet!
  • Whether or not cities are rubbish for cycling - and top tips to make cycling in them better
  • Coast to coast: our epic autumn off-road ride
  • Easy gears to ride faster

Coming up on GCN+

  • CX World Cup Rd 1 - Waterloo
  • Tour of Türkiye
  • Giro del Veneto
  • Veneto Classic
  • BMX World Cup Freestyle & Racing
  • Gree-Tour of Guangxi
  • Ultimate 1000 - our exclusive new documentary
    Note: Territory restrictions apply on all our race coverage.

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