With only 6 days until the second round of the Gravel Race Series sponsored by Specialized in Alba, Italy, Franco Monchiero the organiser wants to pass on his thoughts about the upcoming race.
Together with Cristian Trippa and Davide Bonandrini, we have personally selected the route which takes place through the gentle hill sections of Langhe. The route comprises beautiful scenery is technical fun and has numerous off-road sections.
This new specialism across all of the different road types also attracts Christoph Sauser to the round, Christoph is a previous Swiss World Champion of MTB. Christoph who has returned from his recent Cape Epic success, with be on the start grid on Sunday in his new role as a Specialized brand Ambassador. During the Saturday, he will be available to meet and talk to other riders at the event and will be signing number boards.
The Landscape of the Langhe, is characterised with vineyards castles and an incredible scenic natural environment. The area has just been placed on UNESCO’s List of special protected areas, holding a gravel race here will be an unforgettable experience.
“The route is a true gravel race. I have designed personally the course to make sure the experience on the second round of the series and is unforgettable. I took inspiration from the Enduro format and therefore there will be timed sections and sections where you can just enjoy the ride on the different road surfaces.”
“In the expected 79 km there will be a lot of off-road where a riders technical expertise will be necessary. It’s not about just riding and enjoying the view.”
The course Will follow the course of the hills but at no point will be aggressive in nature. The idea is to follow the lie of the land through the vineyards, taking in some famous Barolo and Barbaresco locations. There will be three special stages that are timed. Each will be different to the other, it should be pleasing for all types of riders those who prefer narrow or fatter tyres. It will be possible to use any type of bike on this course. The start and arrival area in combination with the paddock will be located in the San Casciano area. In addition to the race course the organisational commite has prepared GPS tracks with alternative routes which include a comprehensive list of food stops for any fans who wish to follow the race by bike and cheer on the competitors. Saturday before the race is an ideal time to pre-ride the route.
This is an occasion not just for those passionate about cycling, but also an opportunity to explore the area around Alba. There will be opportunities to take in famous restaurants and Osterias like le Piole and sample the local gastronomy as well as riding and racing.