The Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race series has announced that Remco Evenepoel and Mattia Cattaneo of Deceueninck-QuickStep will compete in the Kansas event on October 31.
The race will be either rider’s first foray into the realm of gravel, a fast-growing cycling discipline in recent years. The Kansas race is the fourth Belgian Waffle Ride after San Diego, North Carolina, and Utah.
Evenepoel and Cattaneo will be in attendance, though Cyclingnews knows that they will not be racing the entire 178-kilometer (111-mile) ‘Wafer’ route, which has 2,438 meters of vertical gain.
Instead, the duo will compete in the shorter ‘Wafer’ or ‘Wanna’ courses. The ‘Wafer’ is 124 kilometers (77 miles) long and has 1,326 meters of elevation, whereas the ‘Wanna’ is 53 kilometers (33 miles) long and has 457 meters of elevation.
Katerina Nash and ex-road racers Peter Stetina and Ian Boswell have won the last Belgian Waffle Rides this year, and Tiffany Cromwell and Ted King are among the other well-known individuals who have completed 2021.
Evenepoel’s previous outing on gravel roads was in May during the Giro d’Italia riding a road cycle. The 21-year-old battled on the strade bianche stage to Montalcino, losing nearly two minutes to his top GC opponents. He was riding his 11th day since returning from his 2020 Il Lombardia crash.
His and Cattaneo’s choice to compete in a gravel race is the latest move by road racers into the gravel world. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) won the pro-only Serenissima Gravel event in northern Italy last week, beating Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Nathan Haas (Cofidis) in a 134-kilometer race.
Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes of EF Education-Nippo frequently compete in gravel races as part of the team’s ‘alternative calendar.’ At the same time, numerous riders, notably Stetina, Laurens ten Dam, and the retiring Kiel Reijnen, have made the jump to gravel after retiring from road racing.
On the opening day of the Track Cycling World Championships, Great Britain makes history.
The 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships kicked out on Wednesday at the Jean-Stablinski Velodrome in Roubaix, with three championships up for grabs: the women’s scratch race, the men’s and women’s team sprints, and the men’s and women’s time trials.
The Great Britain Cycling Team won a historic bronze medal in the women’s team sprint, their first medal in its new three-rider version at the World Championships.
After Lauren Bate had competed in the qualifying round, Sophie Capewell, Blaine Ridge-Davis, and Millicent Tanner could clinch the bronze medal for Great Britain. The team qualified fourth quickest for the first round, where they defeated Poland to earn a third-place match against Japan.
The women’s team sprint squad finished half a second ahead of Japan, finishing off an excellent month that included a fourth-place result at the UEC European Track Championships.
“It feels unreal. I’m at a loss for words,” Blain Ridge-Davis remarked afterward. It’s my first World Championships, as well as Milly’s, and to win a medal is incredible. I’m thrilled for all of us. Every day, we put in the effort, and seeing it pay off for all of us is a dream come true.”
“Paris [Olympics in 2024] is the ultimate aim,” Millicent Tanner continued, “and it’s gone from a dream to an actual target written down, and I think that’s a pretty exciting thing in and of itself.” These small milestones continue to boost our confidence, which is exactly what we need going forward. We must keep chipping away and doing our thing, and we’ll get there eventually.”
Germany won the women’s team sprint with a world record time of 46.064 seconds, giving the country its sixth gold medal in the event in the last ten years. The Russian Cycling Federation took second place, ahead of the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Valente of the United States won bronze in the women’s scratch race, while Martina Fidanza, 21, of Italy, won gold by a significant margin, covering the 40 laps in 13-13 minutes. In the Omnium, Valente was beaten by Maike van der Duin, who finished second.
The Netherlands won their fourth World Championship title in a row in the men’s team sprint, while France finished second. Germany joined them on the top step of the podium.
After Italy beat them in the first round, the Great Britain men’s team pursuit squad will compete for the bronze medal against Olympic silver medalists Denmark. They already had a bronze medal from the UEC European Track Championships in Grenchen, which they won earlier this month.
Later Thursday, Italy, headed by Filippo Ganna, and France, who set a new national record, will compete for the men’s team pursuit gold medal.
Great Britain qualified third fastest in the women’s team pursuit, behind Germany and Italy, with the first round and finals taking place today.