Age group world championships

UCI Gravel World Series

Spread over two days in between Lago Le Bandie and Pieve di Soligo and next to the elite world titles, also 19 age group categories were crowned with the coveted rainbow jersey.

Starting with a 10 minute interval on Saturday, the men over 50 and all women age categories started behind the elite women.

First start was scheduled for the men 50-54 with Kaare Aagard (DEN) as winner beating the 2022 world champion Ibon Zugasti Arrese (ESP) with 1m35 while Filippo Ceci (ITA) finished third.

The men 55-59 who started one minute later were won by 1997 road world champion Laurent Brochard (FRA) with a large 8m19 gap to Marco Dotta (ITA) and Victor Sheldon (USA) who were sprinting for silver and bronze.

The gold in the men 60-64 category was for Jurgen Eckmann (USA) who finished more than 10 minutes ahead of the rest with Matthias Ball (GER) and Ralf Kropp (GER) as second and third.

Next start was for the youngest women age groups who was dominated by the Dutch with Wendy Oosterwoud (NED) winning before her compatriot Lisa Wörner (NED) and Lea Lützen (GER) in third.

Belgian Joyce Vanderbeken took gold in the W35-39 category with a 2m47 gap to Daiva Ragazinskiene (LIT) with Monika Wrona (POL) as bronze medal winner.

Defending world champion Jannitta van den Brink (NED) couldn’t renew her title from last year as she saw Melanie Hessling (GER) taking the gold with Susanna Ylinen (FIN) as third, all three within short distance at the finish line.

The gold in the W45-49 category was for Helen Jackson (GBR) with Petra Sweertman (NED) and Lorena Zocca (ITA) as second and third at respectively 4m29 and 6m05.

The men over 65 and women over 50 had a shorter 93km course skipping the second loop.

Hermann Mandler (AUT) scored the rainbow jersey in the M65-69 category beating both Leon Deuss (BEL) and Roy Mazzucco (ITA) by more than 4 minutes.

Alfred Lechnitz (AUT) got another gold after having won the Gran Fondo world title in the past with defending world champion Regis Pinson (FRA) as second while Goran Lennartsson (SWE) taking the bronze medal in the M70-74 age group.

The oldest age group in the men’s category 75-75 was for Pierluigi Talamona (ITA) who beated defending world champion Robert Braszell who did not finish.

In the women categories over 50, doing the same 93km distance, Patrizia Romanello (ITA) beated Amy Phillips (USA) and Judith Van Maanen (NED) for the W50-54 podium.

The W55-59 category started in the same start group and saw Tracey Jacobs (USA) winning in the sprint against Monika Lidmila (GER) with Hilda Quintens (BEL) as bronze medal finishing 4 minutes later.

The W60-64 gold was for home rider Nadia Sgarbossa (ITA) who impressed with a 13-minute lead to Susan McDonough (USA) while Roswitha Hence-Simenko (AUT) got bronze as lowest step on the podium.

The W65-69 category saw Pam Glenn (USA) taking the gold as only competitor in her age group.

Jolien Faber (NED) got the last gold in the W70-74 category. Her opponent Lynne Walker (GBR) didn’t reach the finish line.

On Sunday, the youngest four age groups of men 19-49 had their starts soon after the men elite doing the same 163km distance, only skipping the lake loop in the start.

In the M19-34 category, two Italians sprinted for victory with Pietro Dutto winning before Matteo Cigala. Belgian Julian Siemons got the bronze medal at 43 seconds.

Two Italians also got on the two highest steps of the podium in the M35-39 category with Marcello Pavarin winning by a two-minute lead to Efrem Bonelli with Portuguese Andre Resende as third at 4m35.

Two former top level pro riders won the gold in the M40 and M45 categories. Johnny Hoogerland (NED) launched an early attack to finish with an impressive 7 minutes towards Jean Mespoulede (FRA) with defending world champion Henning Bommel (GER) as third at 8 minutes.

Former Olympic Road champion from Beijing 2008 Samuel Sanchez (ESP) beated Guido Dracone (ITA) and his compatriot and defending world champion Juan Sebastian Horrach (ESP) to take the M45-49 gold!

The fastest overall time in the age groups on Sunday was for Pietro Dutto winning his M19-34 category in an average speed of 31.5 km/h. On Saturday, the fastest time in the 136km was for respectively Kaare Aagard and Wendy Oosterwoud, both winners of the youngest category over that distance in an average speed of 29.4 km/h and 26.5 km/h. Same in the shorter 93km with

Hermann Mandler winning in an average speed of 26.3 km/h while Patrizia Romanello won her W50-54 category in an average speed of 26.0 km/h.

To compare these with the elites: Matej Mohoric won his title in an average speed of 34.5 km/h while Kasia Niewiadoma won her gold in just over 29 km/h.

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