The 8th leg of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series on Saturday in beautiful Monferrato (Piemonte) showed the most splendid but challenging courses with a lot of short but steep climbs and a lot of dust on the dry gravel roads in Italy’s famous wine region.
In the men’s race, Dutch Piotr Havik could finally take the win in a 4-men sprint against Nathan Haas (AUS), Luca Cibrario (ITA) and Spanish mountainbiker Mantecon Gutierrez who took the fastest overall time as he started 20 seconds later in the second wave, bridging the gap in the first flat kilometres.
Havik, who focused on gravel racing since this season showed his fast legs in the end. A win after second places in Millau and Halmstad earlier this season and some mechanical problems in the other European qualifiers.
In the female race, two girls could hang on for a long time with a strong men’s group. Svenja Betz (GER) finally got away in the final to win with three minutes ahead of Barbara Guarishi (ITA) and Tiffany Cromwell (GBR) to take her second win after Halmstad (SWE) earlier in August.
The course in Piemonte was challenging with a flat start and finish, but a lot of beautiful steep climbs in the middle section of the course. Apart from the top 3 per gender as mentioned above, the organizers were also happy to welcome oldie Davide Rebellin (ITA), former MTB marathon world champion Alban Lakata (AUT) and former world hour record holder Molly Van Houweling (USA), all winning their respective age groups and qualifying for the first UCI Gravel World Championships in Vicenza-Cittadella later in October.