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What's in a gravel title? The opportunities and pride fueling the new Australian champions

Gravel was once an area that took an irreverent approach to some of the usual markers of cycling success and just a few years ago Australia’s national titles in the discipline felt more like a sideshow than a seriously charged competition among a deep field of elite riders. However, it was clear at the Devils Cardigan on Saturday, as the AusCycling Gravel National Championships unfolded, just how much has changed.

We are a long way from the era when the elite men’s and women’s field didn’t even crack a dozen riders combined and bragging rights were pretty much all that was at stake. Top competitors from across the cycling disciplines swept into Derby, Tasmania for a chance to claim the gravel stripes while specialists in. the discipline hurried back from Unbound to arrive ready and prepared for the event in the heart of the Southern Hemisphere winter on Saturday.

Sherwell went over to the United States for a relatively short stint earlier this year, focussing on the Belgian Waffle Ride Tripel Crown, where she secured second overall behind the dominant Sofia Gomez Villafañe (Specialized), who last year won the lucrative Life Time Grand Prix series.

The 35-year-old from Bendigo, who also claimed the Australian Marathon MTB title last month, is hoping she will now be in the running to make a mark as one of the thirty women vying for a top result at the seven race series, which includes Unbound among its events.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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