The Serenissima Gravel is a succession of paved and dirt roads from Jesolo to Piazzola sul Brenta, where even traversing Treviso, a city of one hundred thousand inhabitants, was done over gravel. Albeit in its inaugural edition, this race has already won the enthusiasm of those who love the cycling of the past: no radios, no team cars, only limited mechanical assistance, and, most of all, 110 km of off-road routes out of 132.
The Serenissima Gravel is a combination of the most hard-core cycling technology and the heroic style, made of unsupported racers, reeling in the dust.
This was the first gravel race for professionals and it was quite spectacular.
“It was really tough because it’s all so different from what we’re used to. There was no information coming from the team cars and we knew that, in the event of mechanical problems, we had to repair the bikes by ourselves. A feeling that I hadn’t felt in a long time. At one stage, with no point of reference or any way of knowing my advantage, just like that I chose my tactic: Alexey, go as fast as you can”.
So, Alexey Lutsenko, after sprinting away from his nineteen breakaway companions, soloed 80 kilometres over rocks and dust, pushing as hard as he could and repeating to himself: “Alexey, go as fast as you can”.
The Serenissima Gravel is the perfect example of how the human/bike relationship is so strong that it calls to mind old adages where man and bike are not two distinct entities but rather intimately united.
This is why, after 132 km, Alexey Lutsenko didn’t raise his arms to the sky but, instead, the machine that enabled him to complete 80 km of solitary break.
It was a great moment for the bike, as well, because it was brand new: almost literally fresh out of the factory.
Alexey Lutsenko triumphed at the Serenissima Gravel, the first pro gravel race, riding a Rave SLR, and the celebratory kiss Alexey gave it was filled with a multitude of beautiful meanings.
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