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Riccardo Minali 2nd in the very first gravel race

This Friday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux had the honor to participate to the first professional gravel race on European soil. The Serenissima Gravel, placed in between the Giro del Veneto and the Veneto Classic on the calendar, welcomed eleven teams of four riders at the start at the Adriatic Coast in Lido di Jesolo.

Riccardo Minali, Taco van der Hoorn, Boy van Poppel and Kévin Van Melsen represented the Belgian team under direction of Valerio Piva on the parcours of 126.8 kilometer, containing eleven unpaved sections of 88.5 kilometer in total. Therefore, the four riders could rely on CUBE Nuroad C:62 Bikes equipped with Continental Terra Trail TR 40mm tires. 

Behind Alexey Lutsenko, who distanced his competitors halfway though the race, a chasing group of twelve riders was formed. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was the only team represented with all four riders and took the responsibility of chasing the Kazakh rider, but Lutsenko showed an impressive resistance on the final circuit around the Piazzola sul Brenta. 45 seconds behind the winner, Riccardo Minali won the sprint of the chasing group. Kévin Van Melsen finished 5th and Taco van der Hoorn crossed the line in 10th place.

 « It is fantastic to conclude the season with a podium, especially at the end of a unique experience like this! This second place was the best possible result I think, because Lutsenko was really strong. All eyes were on us in the chasing group, because the whole team was present. Taco, Boy and Kévin perfectly controlled the group, enabling me to sprint for 2nd place in a group of five riders. It was a difficult race, but we really had fun. I'm looking forward to participate to more gravel races in the future! »

 « Both the riders and staff really appreciated this new experience. The parcours was beautiful and on top of that, we could enjoy nice weather. I could observe from the sideline how our riders perfectly carried out the tactics and exploit the fast legs of Riccardo. When it became clear that Lutsenko was out of reach, Taco and Kévin ensured that the chasing stayed together. These nice results are the cherry on the cake for their end of the season. Our four riders were perfect ambassadors for the CUBE Nuroad C:62 bikes and contributed to the promotion of this relatively new discipline.  »


General Classification


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