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Maja Wloszczowska ( may have last year retired from her career as a professional mountain bike rider but the 2010 cross-country World Champion on the weekend took a different type of race victory on rough terrain, delivering a dominant performance at the fourth round of the UCI Gravel World Series in Poland.

In the Polish round of the new series held in Świeradów-Zdrój, the Gravel Adventure, Wloszczowska delivered a time of 3:42:37 on the 98km course which included a section of single-track. That put the two-time Olympic silver medallist more than 20 minutes ahead of her nearest rivals in the women’s category, German rider Svenja Betz (IBCT). In third it was Dutch rider Tessa Neefjes (Giant Liv Benelux Offroad Team), who earlier this month won the third round in Millau, France.

“I really did not have much time for riding (not mentioning racing) so it’s thrilling to be able to make 4h gravel race in a super high pace to grab the win,” said Wloszczowska in an Instagram post.

“Congrats to Svenja Betz  & Tessa Neefjes & all the riders who made it to the finish. That was my first real race on gravel and… I loved it! Super fast, despite some proper climbing (1900m on 95km), roadie feeling while racing in the forest with some proper downhills where definitely my MTB skills were in use.”

It was also the first gravel race for second-placed Betz, who was coming off a road block in Belgium earlier this month which included the 1.1 category SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour and Dwars door de Westhoek.

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“The first 88km were crazy good, my legs felt strong and body and mind felt into a flow. It was a 7km climb in the very beginning, holding the back wheels in front of me to stay with some fast men,” said Betz on Instagram. “Followed by lots of gravelsections up and downhill, some technical [descents], some more climbs. I didn’t feel the pain in my legs, I just felt happy.”

“After half of the race I was alone, going as fast as possible, flowing over rough ground in beautiful nature till the first puncture hit me with 10 km to go.”

Betz then battled through multiple flats and a couple of crashes but still came second in the women’s category and the 26-year-old was also in first place in her age category.

“I am proud and I am happy,” said Betz. ”And definitely gonna continue this gravel journey! Qualification for the World Championships are in the pocket, more to come, more to explore.”

The first UCI Gravel World Championships is set be held in the Veneto Region of Italy, on October 8-9, with the world series acting as qualifying for the event. 

Pos. Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Maja Wloszczowska ( 3:42:37
2 Svenja Betz (IBCT) 0:21:34
3 Tessa Neefjes (Giant Liv Benelux Offroad Team) 0:26:10
4 Dominika Niemiec (Eroe Racing Club) 0:35:27
5 Amanda Voss 0:47:51
6 Magdalena Laczak (Salomon Suunto Team) 0:47:52
7 Monika Strychar (Mitsubishi Materials Mtb Team) 0:49:20
8 Angelina Bosse 0:49:40
9 Monika Wrona 0:54:57
10 Laura Hesse (Team Standert) 1:06:13
SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Simone Giuliani
All copyrights for this article, including images, are reserved to the original source and/or creator(s).
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