This time last year Adam Blazevic was lining up one of the very first races of the UCI Gravel World Series in Nannup, Western Australia as a relative unknown, perhaps a little underestimated, and uncertain just what this foray into gravel racing would bring. Much has changed in 12 months, not just for the Australian rider but also for the series.
The series has stepped up to a new level in 2023, confirming its place in the race calendar with more and more fop riders stepping into the fray as well as more and more organisers putting their hands up to be included in the event. Blazevic too has now become a more established presence, parlaying an initial victory at the SEVEN gravel race in Nannup into a powerful opening year on the international gravel racing scene.
That means he now starts his new season on May 13 as anything but an unknown. He will be a closely watched given that he is not only defending champion, but also one of the most successful riders of the 2022 series.
“Last year was really the first season I started getting some results that were noticed,” said the 24-year-old who has spent many years competing at races in road, mountain bike and cyclocross but seems to have found a perfect skillset fit in gravel racing. “So this year I really want to continue to build on that, and show that I actually belong at that level and am able to repeat.”
Repeating, let alone building on, 2022 is no small ask, given Blazevic managed to win two rounds of the series, plus took to the podium on another occasion. He also came over the line in the top ten in all but one of the World Series races he participated in – and that one miss was because a slashed tyre prevented him from finishing.
All that came in a year which started off with the Nannup Gravel Race to “just to see how it went”. “It went pretty well,” said Blazevic with characteristic understatement.
There is no doubt he can look back on his initial season of gravel with plenty of reason to be satisfied and little to regret.
“I just went for it last year,” Blazevic told Cyclingnews from his home-base of Melbourne, as he was ramping up his training toward a Nannup season debut on May 13. “I went all in on it and I can’t really be unhappy about anything.”
Even the first all important UCI Gravel World Championships, ending in a DNF could not provide a dampener, not…
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