Congratulations to Parcours athletes Caroline Livesey and Maddy Nutt who took on a tough technical course in Italy on Saturday finishing strongly after a hard day! We caught up with Maddy following the race to get the full lowdown on just how tough a day out it way. Check out her race report below...
Gravel world champs was a beast of a race. It started unbelievably intense, with some of the strongest road riders in the world pushing the pace from the front. Gridded towards the back after not focusing on uci races this year, I really struggled to move up knowing positioning would be crucial. I made it to the bunch in the road, but didn’t have the power or bunch skills to move forwards before we hit the gravel.
Hitting the thicker gravel, some riders went flying unable to handle their bikes through the section. I managed to dodge crashes, but was held up behind some of the chaos, and didn’t have the power to bridge on my own further forward in the race. I ended up in a small group of riders, and we stayed together for the first two hours before the older men passed through us on a steep descent.
I began to suffer having spent so much energy early on in the race, and struggled with the steepness of the climbs. (There needs to be a stronger word than steep, because these really were almost vertical walls at points!).
At 100km, I was working with two riders and a large group of mainly men caught us, with women amongst them. From this point I started losing a lot of positions in the elite women’s race, as I had spent a lot of energy early on without having men to draft unlike these riders passing me.
Mentally at this point I could really feel the fatigue and struggle, with several steep climbs still to come. The expression I would use to describe the rest of my race was definitely ‘suffered through’ and I crossed the line in 77th position. Disappointed on the day, but overall satisfied with the effort and inspired to want to train harder to improve my level and close the gap on the women at the front of the race.
I’m looking forward to some time to reflect on my goals and ambitions for next year in my off season, and I’m so thankful to everyone who contributed towards making this season so incredible!