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Start grid slots key as Team USA shapes Gravel World Championships strategies

The 2022 UCI Gravel World Championships where early selections were forced and it was crucial to be up front to avoid being caught behind in narrow sections

Alexey Vermeulen, Sarah Sturm and Paige Onweller are three of the gravel ‘specialists’ on Team USA who are locked and loaded for explosive racing this weekend at UCI Gravel World Championships. They had pre-ridden all or most of the course, all said it was a challenging and technical for ‘worthy’ gravel world titles, and the winners would most likely be determined quite early, from the front of the race start.

“It’s a proper course. It’s tight, it’s technical. It has very, very, very steep climbs, it has paved climbs and loose climbs. It has paved descents, loose descents. There will be a true gravel winner at the end. It will be very intense all day. It will not play out like a road race. No one is gonna be on 35 millimetre slicks. This is a true gravel race,” Vermeulen told Cyclingnews, who traveled to Italy fresh from back-to-back wins at The Rad Dirt Fest and Chequamegon MTB Festival, putting him second overall in the Life Time Grand Prix series.

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