Gravel World Championship has been assigned to Veneto and will take place in the province of Treviso on 7-8 October. The race will be hosted in the UNESCO Heritage hills famous for Prosecco wine.
It’s an area that we know like the back of our hand (we ride here since nineties…) and now you can discover it using to our bike-routes in the Treviso area.
Ok, but where are the Gravel World Championship GPS data?
We had them as a preview to create the official graphics of the route (yes: in addition to mapping MTB/gravel routes, we realize cartography for sporting events too). And now we can reveal all the secrets about the 2023 Gravel World Championship, as well as giving you the GPS data!
THREE ROUTES, A POINT-TO-POINT START AND TWO DIFFERENT LOOPS
The 2023 Gravel World Championship route will have a lot of traps, long flat stretches, some hard climbs and many short climbs scattered here and there. More than 60% will be offroad, mainly on comfortable dirt paths or country tracks, with frequent concrete roads and rare technical points. There will also be bottlenecks, narrow bridges, cycle paths, some water crossing and an infinite number of crossroads and direction-changing which will require maximum concentration.
The start is located at the Mosole Headquarters at Le Bandie lake (the venue that hosted the Cyclocross World Championships in 2008) and the finish line is in Pieve di Soligo, the heart of the Quartier del Piave. Three are the planned routes, formed by an initial point-to-point stretch followed by two loops in the hills, one to the eastern part and one to the western.
The main route will be the men’s one, which on Sunday 8th October will award the world titles in the Elite and “age groups” categories up to 49 years old.
Women’s route will be similar to the previous one, but with some shortenings in the two rings which will significantly reduce the length. On Saturday 7th October this route will see both women (Elite and “age groups” up to 49 years old) and male amateur categories from 50 to 65 years old.
Finally the third route, intended for older athletes, which includes the initial point-to-point section ant the second loop in its shorter version (the women’s route one).
THE THREE ROUTES AND GPS DATA
- Men’s route (Elite M, M 19-49) – 169km / 1890m+ *
- Women’s route (Elite W, W 19-49, M 50-65) – 140km / 1660m+ *
- Route M 65+ and W 50+ – 100km / 1030m+
*Age groups categories won’t ride the launch lap around Le Bandie lake. The route will be about 5 kms shorter.
From this link you can download the GPS TRACKS of the 2023 Gravel World Championship, the ones approved by U.C.I. (one .ZIP file containing all the routes).
Here you will find all the route maps (click on the images to enlarge), below we continue with the description of the routes in detail.
After the launch-lap (only for Elite categories), the first offroad section is only 3,5 kilometers after Le Bandie. It’s the long straight of Via dei Fanti, a wide dirt road with a lot of potholes.
The road bridge over the Piave river leads now into the “grave del Piave”, where gravel, rocks and dust mark the route for about 12 kilometers going north to Ponte della Priula.
Few kms later is the first feed zone at the Borgo Luce farm, and from here starts the gentle climb up the Collalto hills. The route goes into the vineyards with easy slopes (there’s only a very short ramp at the beginning), passing near San Salvatore Castle and arriving at Colle della Tombola.
It’s now timw for a fast series of ups and downs, at the beginning on dirt roads and then on asphalt up to the panoramic San Dagoberto hill. The next long descent (dirt road) will require caution due to the gravel surface and some drainage bumps; it ends not far from Pieve di Soligo: first crossing of the finish line, start of the first loop.
THE FIRST LOOP
It begins with seven and a half flat kilometers on asphalt into the valley of the magnificent Molinetto della Croda.
Here is the second climb: the easy first half is on unpaved road towards Costa Piere, the second half is steeper and leads on tarmac to the village of Arfanta. At the top the routes split: men to the left, women to the right.
Men’s route continues on asphalt along the hairpin bends of Zuel and the descent to Gai, then passing through the dirt cycle paths of Valsana to Revine Lake (feed zone). Also the women’s route arrives in Valsana, but following a shorter route that includes a narrow fast asphalt descent, a climb up to Reseretta and a crazy descent on concrete. Be careful: if wet it will become the most dangerous part of the entire route!
Both routes now continue along gravel paths around the Revine lakes (here is another short split of the routes) arriving at the third climb (Nogarolo) that pass through the Cal da Bar, an old trail now converted into a cycle/pedestrian path. It’s 700 meters over 11%, with the final ramp breaking through 20%. In one word: a “muur”. It was discovered few years ago by LA RONDA (the local tribute to Ronde van Vlaanderen – www.laronda.cc), a well-known event for its insane climbs.
The downhill begins after another treacherous climb, the one to Monte Comun, and go down thought a cemented path in the wood crossing the narrow bridge over the Cervano river, continuing then on the dirt road towards Corbanese.
The next climb to Formeniga (1.1 kms at 7%, max 13%) has a very ruined surface and the wheels will sink into the gravel and stones (here we were forced to put our feet down!). Anyway, those who compete on Saturday won’t ride it, but will be sent directly to Cà del Poggio. It’s a well-known ascent, covered by each bike race in the area and even the Giro d’Italia passed here several times: it’s 1.2 kms at 12.3%, max 19%.
From the top it’s time to reach San Pietro di Feletto, descending (and then coming back up) into the Trippera valley. A quick asphalt downhill and it’s time again to cross the finish line in Pieve di Soligo, start of the second loop.
THE SECOND LOOP
High speed and wakes. Fast dirt roads, long straights and sharp bends. Dust and mud. Welcome to the Quartier del Piave.
More or less this will be the leitmotif in the flat area between the Piave river and the hills. Here the routes will meander through country roads for kilometers and kilometers (about 45 for men, 27 for women). The longest route will also pass near the Isola dei Morti, the battlefield where the First World War on Italian soil ended.
Thus we arrive at Col San Martino and here is the steep climb of San Vigilio opening the grand-finale of this Gravel World Championship. The 400 meters of concrete up to 22% anticipate a longer and pleasant climb.
We go into the hills surrounded by woods, vineyards, meadows and some water crossing: here the climb to Le Serre starts steep on concrete ground and then grass. A short stony descent is the prelude to the panoramic stretch of Riva dei Tor (concrete with easy slopes). It’s the right place to look around: we are in one of the most scenic places in the Prosecco hills!
A fast cemented descent leads now to the short ramp of Tenade, another magical valley where remote country roads pass through the vineyards. At the end of a difficult descent (steep and dirty concrete) you arrive at Premaor, following then the Soligo river on a muddy path (but they’re working on it…) going towards the last and decisive climb.
Collagù climb will certainly hurt: if the first cemented section with hairpins is rather regular, the worst comes in the very last part. After a sharp bend to the left the terrain becomes bumpy, with bad cemented sections and gradients of up to 23%.
But it’s not over yet because you have to pay attention even on the following stony descent (rough, steep and tortuous). Then another short ascent finally reaches the church of San Gallo.
The last downhill is “finally” asphalted, but made tricky by the steep gradients. And a final part on the ruins of a cobbled path is maybe more suitable for mountain biking than gravel. Anyway, the Soligo river is now again part of the route, this time with the fast cycle path on its left bank.
Last kilometer is entirely on asphalt with a very slight descent and has three 90° turns, the last at about 200 meters from the finish line. From -200 to -100 the road goes downhill just enough to gain speed for the sprint: the last 100 meters are slightly uphill until the finish line located in the main square of Pieve di Soligo.
IN THE END, OUR OPINION
It’s a varied and selective route. After the fast and easy starting section, the first loop will include the most climbs mainly on fast and smooth terrain (the majority of asphalt is here).
The second loop, although opens with a long flat stretch, instead offers more technical descents and also bumpy, muddy and grass sections.
Hint: eyes open on the descents! You will often be speeding between villages, in dark woods and in many other situations of poor visibility. Furthermore the route will feature blind curves, sudden hairpin bends, leaves and gravel on the road. So, in addition to legs pushing on the pedals, you will also need firm fingers on the brakes.
Because, maybe, the winner of the Gravel World Championship won’t be the strongest, but the most skilled (or crazy?) downhiller…
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