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On Friday, USA Cycling (USAC) released the names of nine elite riders selected to race in red, white, and blue at the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships.
For the elite categories, Team USA will be sending four men and five women, including Alex Howes (EF Education-EasyPost), Jacob Peterson, David Van Orsdel, and Mat Stephens, as well as Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch), Sarah Sturm (Specialized/Rapha/Wahoo), Emily Newsom (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), and Holly Matthews (Cinch).
These athletes applied through USAC’s “discretionary selection” category, a process that is utilized when automatic criteria (like prior results at a world championship or a national championship title, for example) do not apply.
USAC — like other national federations — was awarded 20 quota spots for the inaugural event.
Read also: UCI Gravel World Championships route info
A total of 44 Americans qualified at the Highlands Gravel Classic (USA), Wish One Gravel Race (FRA), La Monsterrato (ITA), and Houffa Gravel (BEL).
Five additional age-group athletes were selected through USAC’s petition process.
The inaugural gravel world championships will be held in Veneto, Italy over the weekend of October 8-9.
Elite women, women’s age group, and men’s 50+ categories will race on Saturday, October 8 on a 140-kilometer course with 69 percent gravel and 700 meters of elevation gain.
On Sunday, elite men and under-49 age group categories race on the same route, with the addition of a 25-kilometer final circuit. Age-group riders will complete the circuit once for a total of 165 kilometers and 750 meters of altitude gain.
Elite men will complete the finishing circuit twice, for a total of 190 kilometers and 800 meters of altitude gain and a total of 73 percent gravel.
Other professional riders who have qualified through the UCI Gravel World Series or their home federation include Annika Langvad, Nathan Haas, Niki Terpstra, Maja Wloszczowska, Jasper Ockeloen, Tiffany Cromwell, Sofia Gomez Villafañe, and Paul Voss.