Kasia Niewiadoma takes gold after an epic battle

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 07/10/2023 - Cycling - 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships - Provincia di Treviso, Veneto, Italy - Elite Women’s Race - Kasia Niewiadoma of Poland celebrates after winning Gold.

The second edition of the UCI Gravel World Championships took place in between Lago Le Bandie in Treviso to finish in Pieve di Soligo.

The elite women rode together with all women age groups and men over 50 with small intervals between the starts. Most of them had to do a 140km course in three major loops.

A big group of 20 crossed the finish line after the first time but in the second more challenging loop with more elevation, the lead group split up in a smaller group of 9 with later winner Niewiadoma, Dutch Vollering, Wiebes, Kastelijn and Markus, Italian Realini, American Stephens, Fisher Black from New Zealand and Boilard from Canada. Persico also returned and in the finishloop, the final began with a total of 15 riders as the flat part before the steep final slowed down the group and a lot of riders could return.

With 20k to go, Niewiadoma made her decisive move to take quickly a 40 seconds gap with behind her Kastelijn and Vollering and Persico a bit further. Persico moved her way to the battle for silver while Kastelijn lost contact, but the Niewiadoma was out of reach to win with 32 seconds to Persico who outsprinted Vollering. Kastelijn got fourth and Wiebes fifth.

Next to the women elite, also 9 women and 6 men age groups fought for the rainbow jerseys in their respective age groups.

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