The first edition of the Danish UCI Gravel World Series event in Blaavands took part on wet, gritty, sandy, muddy beaches along the western windswept coast of the country on Saturday 6 May, with participants battling the elements and each other for two or three laps of a 51km loop to try and qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships.
Danish riders ruled the day, sweeping many of the Gravel Challenge Blaavands age group podiums, with Tobias Kongstad (M19-34) of team Pas Normal Studios taking the overall victory in 4:50:00, after defeating Frederik Muff (4:50:02) and Jacob Hindsgaul (4:50:03) in a final sprint to the line. WorldTour pro Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-QuickStep) finished 27th after a tubeless mechanical failure.
Liv Racing Collective’s Tessa Neefjes made her second UCI Gravel World Series podium appearance in as many weeks, earning victory by finishing the women’s race almost 30 minutes ahead of Klara Sofie Skovgard Hansen and Noa Jansen. Neefjes also won two UCI Gravel World Series races in 2022.
Afterwards Asgreen posted on social media, “I didn’t know you could knock off a tubeless valve whilst riding. But I found out during the race @blaavandgravel yesterday. Obviously that cost me any hopes of winning the thing eheh. But what a fun event, loved riding on that epic course, crazy danish conditions and tonnes of people.”
Peter Thidemann (M35-39), Henningn Bommel (M40-44), Juan Horrach (M45-49), Stefan Danowski (M50-54), Jan Olav Beitmyren (M55-59), Laurits Thorning Jakobsen (M60-64), Bo Dertell (M65-69) and Bent Sondergard (M70-74) all won their age group categories and also qualified to attend the gravel world championships.
Joining them from the women’s age group categories are Sofia Wickenberg (W35-39), Natalie Pindera (W40-44), Lani Marie Sorensen (W45-49), Siri Hildonen (W50-54), Corinna Siegel (W55-59) and Marion Nilsen (W60-64).
The Gravel Challenge Blaavands field consisted of over 700 riders from 23 different nationalities including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, South Africa, Iceland, Spain, Australia, Poland, Ireland, USA, Switzerland, Canada, France, Lithuania, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Colombia and of course Denmark.
Complete Gravel Challenge Blaavands results HERE.
Photo Credit: F. Voldset
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