Gravel that wasn't gravel but was gravel, though not real gravel!
We've seen plenty of discussion since last weekend's World Gravel Championships with lots of comments on social media - and ironically, this is another one - about the race and how "it wasn't really a gravel race", or how "it (was) not like the gravel races in the USA", and to some extent those comments are probably right! The saying goes 'all publicity is good publicity' and I guess that's open to debate, but one thing that the inaugural Champs has done is get plenty of people talking about the race, potentially due to the quality of the field and the range of bikes that were used in the race. Whether by design (by the UCI) or not, one thing that the Worlds delivered - potentially due to the parcours, or the lack of severity of it - was a stellar line up and that ensured the race was in the spotlight.
Speaking to riders and people that were at the Worlds, the word is the event was great; a truly brilliant atmosphere, a hard race, and beautiful scenery. Looking at the bikes used and the different tech' etc plus the fact that ultimately some riders raced on a 'road bike', it made us think that despite the social media views and comments, that maybe the race actually delivered exactly what it was supposed to do, and what gravel is supposed to be about; adventure!
Now a discussion on gravel could probably go on all day, though the ideology behind what gravel is of late is that it is something different without restrictions and things being pigeon holed into a set genre, with gravel representing a way of riding that allows the wanderer to explore and riders that would normally ride either MTB or road to have something different that is neither one nor the other, a meet in the middle so to speak. Despite the race not being that 'gravel' hopefully it helped many people remember why they ride a bike in the first place; fun, enjoyment, health, recreation, and adventure!