On Friday, October 13, dust will fly and adrenaline surge on the gravel roads around Cittadella in the second event of the Ride the Dreamland series. Several top professional teams are set to do battle on a 37km circuit to be repeated four times, taking the final race distance to 148km.
Two years ago, with the invaluable support of the Veneto Region, PP Sport Events pioneered the first European gravel race for professional riders: La Serenissima Gravel. Since then, the discipline has experienced a remarkable boom, enticing some of the world’s top road riders. Last year, Filippo Pozzato and his team also enjoyed the honour of organising the first ever UCI Gravel World Championships.
The trailblazer in this sport within a sport, La Serenissima Gravel will continue to show the way on Friday, October 13, with the race’s third edition and the second event in the Ride the Dreamland series, which begins with the Giro del Veneto on October 11 and concludes with the Veneto Classic on October 15.
The backdrop for this year’s edition will be the beautiful fortified town of Cittadella (province of Padova), where the race will both start and finish. From there, the peloton will head out towards the gravel roads that crisscross the Brenta river – and on which whoever wants to succeed Alexey Lutsenko and Robin Froidevaux, the winners of the first two editions, will face a bumpy ride to glory.
The race will start from the heart of Cittadella, Piazza Luigi Pierobon, and pass through the municipalities of Fontaniva (PD), Tezze sul Brenta (VI), and Cartigliano (VI) before re-entering Cittadella’s walls. While there are no significant elevation changes, out of the 37-kilometre lap to be repeated four times, 24 kilometres are on gravel roads, meaning that 96 of the 148 kilometres in total will be ridden over the dust and cinder paths and tracks referred to by Italian fans more simply as ‘sterrato’. Particularly noteworthy is the off-road section along the Brenta River, stretching almost 15 kilometres and passing through the Parco dell’Amicizia and the Parco delle Basse del Brenta before returning to Cittadella via Fratta.
“The Serenissima Gravel was a great idea at the time, considering what the gravel world has become in Europe,” says Filippo Pozzato, founder of PP Sport Events. “We are pleased to write another page in its story, especially because the Veneto offers more than 3,000 kilometres of gravel routes, with new ones constantly being unearthed. This year, we’re being hosted by a town that has always been a friend of PP Sport Events, Cittadella, and which, with the 2020 Italian Championships, was among the first to put their faith in us. We’ll be eternally grateful to them for that.”
Several professional teams, including WorldTour teams, have already confirmed that they intend to take on the Serenissima Gravel in 2023, underlining once again the race’s standing in the highest echelons of the sport.