On the big stage. The Gravel World Championship took place for the first time in October 2022, and right in the middle of it: a pushbiker. Felix Meo has only recently started riding outside of paved roads, and then his path led him straight to a world championship where world-class riders such as Mathieu van der Pol, Peter Sagan, Davide Ballerini, ex-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar as well as Greg Van Avermaet and Maloja athlete Paul Voss. Felix receives the starting number 41. His racing result: 25th place.
For Felix it was only his second gravel race, and his first race in the black and white national jersey of New Zealand. He had prepared for the event in the short term with adapted training and a few gravel rides per week to get used to the bike and the terrain.
The course: 194 kilometres with 800 metres of altitude, starting in Vicenza and ending with two laps around the finish town of Citadella. The road is mostly unpaved, with gravel, forest tracks and a short section of pave.
One of the biggest challenges for Felix: his position at the start. So it became a challenge to get into the leading group. But 25 km before the finish he was in the leading group of about 40 riders and finished 25th. A small mistake kept him out of the top 20, he says in retrospect, but the result still makes him very happy.
We can only agree. Congratulations Felix on a strong performance at the end of the season!
“The atmosphere was amazing. It was great to see lots of people throughout the course cheering us on, especially in the final laps around the historic walled city of Citadella.”
Photos | Clippin Media / Bryan Alberts I privat I Urs Golling I