The fourth leg of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series in Swieradow Zdroj in the Polish mountains this weekend proved to offer riders a challenging but super nice course with a hard climb in the start and and up and down going course with a technical final for a total elevation of 1950m.
294 riders had signed up for the 3 different distances from which the long 98km course was the qualifier for the younger age groups while the 65km mediofondo counted as qualifier for all men over 60 and women over 50. The short distance didn’t count a qualifier.
6 riders passed together at the first checkpoint (km20) with Germans Christian Kreuchler and Anton Albrecht, Australians Adam Blazevic and Nathan Haas, Belgian Bram Rombouts and Dutch Piotr Havik.
Maja Wloszczowska, former MTB World Champion who retired from professional cycling last season and the local race ambassador of the event passed together with German Svenja Betz at that first check point as first two females while another German Judith Krahl passed as third at 3.5 minutes from the leaders.
The situation at the front remained the same during most of the undulating middle section of the race while Wloszcowska made a gap to her competitors to secure the win in the female categories.
Then Australian Adam Blazevic, already winner of the Australian leg early May made his move. He attacked with 30 kilometres to go building a 2 minutes gap at the last feed station with 10km to go to 3 Germans, but chain problems in the last technical single track section pushed him back to fifth place. Christian Kreuchler (M35-39) finally won in a close sprint finish before his compatriot Anton Albrecht (M19-34) with Sebastian Breuer (M19-34) as overall third 3m40 behind the winner who finished in an average speed of just over 30km/h.
The overall female win was for Maja Wloszczowska (F35-39) in an average speed of 26.5 km/h. She moved up in the male peloton to a strong 23rd overall spot, 22 minutes ahead of German Svenja Betz (F19-34) while Dutch Tessa Neefjes (F19-34), winner of the third leg in France two weeks ago had a strong second half to secure overall third spot, 26 minutes behind the winner.