Former professional cyclist Nicolas Roche and his brother Alexis along with Tri Talking Sport’s Emma Porter have qualified for the 2022 UCI Gravel World Championships and will compete in the elite men’s and women’s races this October.
The trio will represent Ireland at the championships in Italy on October 8th and 9th, with Porter to race in the women’s elite race over 140km on October 8th and the Roche brothers competing in the men’s elite race over 194km on October 9th.
It’s the inaugural edition of the event which will start in Vicenza in Italy and finish in the medieval city of Cittadella, passing close to the city of Padua.
Nicolas Roche booked his place in the World Championships elite men’s race after some strong performances in the UCI Gravel World Series this year.
After finishing 55th in the Hutchinson Ranxo Gravel in Spain on September 18th, the 38-year-old is relishing the chance to race in green again.
“It’s great to be representing Ireland again, and in something new! I can’t wait to race. I am thrilled to take part in the first UCI Gravel World Championships. Although accumulating other jobs and not being able to train as much as I’ve wanted, I feel I am in pretty good shape.”
“I have finished Top ten on World Series races this year but in worlds World Tour riders are welcome to ride making the level extra competitive! I think I would be happy with a top 15 finish.”
His brother, Alexis, qualified for the elite men’s race at the Wish One Gravel Race in Millau, France on June 5th and has been targeting a strong showing next month.
“Since they announced the first UCI Gravel World Championships and the UCI Gravel World Series it became my objective to get qualified for it (the World Championships). I qualified on my first World Series event in Millau and I saw that I can be competitive. The 194km course will be mostly flat which should suit me as I have a good strength and technique on that kind of gravel.”
“I’m targeting a top ten finish. I’ve trained hard for the race and learned a lot from the previous races, I’ll leave everything on the road – well gravel!”
Emma Porter secured her place in the championships after a strong showing in the UCI Gravel World Series.
The Girona-based rider finished in third place at the Millau Grands Causses in Millau, southern France on June 5, with a podium finish guaranteeing qualification for the UCI Gravel World Championships.
“I’m super excited to be going next week. I can’t really believe it. I started racing gravel this year for fun and I’ve just fallen in love with it. I went to the UCI race in Millau in June on a bit of an adventure with some friends and had no expectations. It was the hardest race I’ve done to date, so to have made the podium and qualified for the World Championships was pretty cool.”
“The course in Italy is a little longer but much flatter, and the elite women will have their own start this time so it will be interesting to see how that changes the race dynamics. There’s some seriously strong women lining up but 140km is a long way so anything can happen. I just want to leave it all out there and enjoy every second of the experience.”
Several age categories will also compete as well as the men’s and women’s elite races, with more information on the race program available here.
WOMEN’S ELITES – SATURDAY OCTOBER 8TH
MEN’S ELITES – SUNDAY OCTOBER 9TH