Just like the women’s race on Saturday, the elite men’s race at the UCI Gravel World Championships in Italy served up a mishmash of tech for the inaugural event.
That was reflected in the start list, too, with road, cyclocross and gravel riders combining in a bid to pull on – love it or hate it – the first rainbow jersey in a new, UCI-approved era for gravel racing.
That start list included top-tier road talent – the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, Peter Sagan and Greg van Avermaet – plus gravel specialists such as Unbound 2022 winner Ivar Slik, but it was road and cyclocross pro Gianni Vermeersch who triumphed solo ahead of Daniel Oss in Veneto.
Vermeersch, a team-mate of van der Poel on the Alpecin–Deceuninck team, rode a Canyon Ultimate CFR to victory – a bike representative of a fast, flat, hardpacked course that required barely a change of tyres to one of the best road bikes out there.
Having also taken you through the podium bikes from the women’s race and given you the run-down on Vermeersch’s Canyon Ultimate CFR, here are four more pro bikes from the 2022 gravel worlds.
Lachlan Morton’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo SE
Lachlan Morton has established himself as something of a crossover star for EF Education-EasyPost, taking on the WorldTour road team’s alternative race calendar in a series of gravel and MTB events, including Unbound and the Leadville 100.
It was little surprise, then, to see the Australian on the start line in Italy, riding to 18th place aboard this Cannondale SuperSix Evo SE.
The SuperSix Evo SE was designed exactly with events such as this in mind – it’s a gravel take on Cannondale’s long-standing SuperSix Evo road machine.
Launched in August 2021, the SuperSix Evo SE shares a similar frame shape to the road-going SuperSix, including aero-tuned tube profiles, but with increased clearance for 45mm tyres and a slightly more relaxed geometry that is still intended to retain racy handling.
Not that Morton needed all that clearance for the dry conditions, using 38c Vittoria Terreno Zero tyres.
The brand’s race-focused gravel rubber has a smooth centre tread inspired by the Corsa road tyre, with a scale-like pattern on the shoulders for a little extra grip. They’re tubeless, of course, and the tan-wall finish is very smart on Morton’s bike, too.
Those tyres are mounted on deep-section Vision Metron carbon wheels.
As for the drivetrain, the 52-36t semi-compact chainrings are paired with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur and second-tier Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur. There’s also a Power2Max NG crank-based power meter.
Morton may have been riding a go-fast gravel machine, including the aero-profile Vision Metron 4D carbon handlebar, with no tape on the tops, but the 30-year-old’s nod to adventure comes in the shape of the Tailfin pack strapped to the top tube.
Magnus Cort Nielsen’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo SE
Magnus Cort Nielsen was one of the stars of this summer’s Tour de France. He went up the road in the breakaway at the Grand Départ in his native Denmark, wore the polka dot jersey and won stage 10 before having to abandon the race after testing positive for Covid-19.
Paintjob aside, Cort Nielsen rode largely the same Cannondale SuperSix Evo SE as his team-mate, Morton, so we won’t dwell on the frame, but there are a couple of spec differences to call out.