USA Cycling Announces 2023 Gravel World Championships Team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (September 18, 2023) – The 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships are set to take place in Veneto, Italy on October 7-8, 2023. In the event’s second year, USA Cycling is sending a team with goals of a podium for the American racers.

As part of the UCI’s Cycling for All initiative, the Gravel World Championships qualification process is multi-faceted. Riders can qualify for their age group by finishing in the top 25% of one of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series events. Additionally, riders who won their National Championship category at the 2023 National Championships were also nominated, including the top three of the elite races. Then, USA Cycling has the opportunity to enter an additional 20 athletes across all categories, including both amateur and elites. Athletes were required to petition for those final quota spots to be considered in the process.

Keegan Swenson of Park City, Utah wins Unbound Gravel, a 200 mile gravel race through the Flint Hills of Kansas, with a finish time of 10:06.4. Swenson finished second here last year in a similar sprint finish, after 200 miles of gravel and mud he claims victory in 2023.

In the end, USA Cycling is sending a team of 13 Elite Men and 10 Elite Women who will battle for the coveted Elite World Title. Off-road phenom Keegan Swenson (Heber City, Utah; Santa Cruz, SRAM, htSQD) will have Team USA on his side with gravel superstars like Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich.; Jukebox – ENVE), Brennan Wertz (Mill Valley, Calif.; Mosaic Cycles), and Payson McElveen (Durango, Colo.; Allied Cycle Works), along with three-time U.S. Criterium National Champion Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing).

Lauren Stephens wins USA Cycling Gravel National Championships: Race Day – Civic Center in Gering, Nebraska, USA on September 09, 2023. (Photo: Craig Huffman / Craig Huffman Photography)

Elite Women’s Gravel National Champion Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas; EF EDUCATION-TIBCO-SVB) will be leading the charge along with fellow Road Worlds team member Heidi Franz (Seattle, Wash.; DNA Pro Cycling), and returning Gravel Worlds members Emily Newsom (Fort Worth, Tex.; Roxo Racing) and Sarah Sturm (Durango, Colo.; Specialized/ Rapha/ Wahoo). Alexis Skarda (Grand Junction, Colo.; Santa Cruz Bicycles) and Crystal Anthony (Bentonville, Ark.; Liv Racing Collective) will also be ones to watch after their silver and bronze medal performances at the inaugural Gravel National Championships.

The Team USA Roster is as follows:

Elite Men

    • Zach Calton (Salt Lake City)
    • Ian Kutzleb (Durango, Colo.)
    • Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing)
    • Andy Lydic (Boulder, Colo.; BMC #ItCouldBeMe)
    • Payson McElveen (Durango, Colo.; Allied Cycle Works)
    • Justin McQuerry (Austin, Tex.)
    • Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif.; Santa Cruz, SRAM, htSQD),
    • Ethan Overson (Tucson, Ariz.; Scuderia Pinarello)
    • Artem Shmidt (Cumming, Ga.; Hagens Berman Axeon)
    • Keegan Swenson (Heber City, Utah; Santa Cruz, SRAM, htSQD)
    • David Van Orsdel (Minneapolis)
    • Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich.; Jukebox – ENVE)
    • Brennan Wertz (Mill Valley, Calif.; Mosaic Cycles)

Elite Women

    • Morgan Aguirre (Seattle, Wash.)
    • Crystal Anthony (Bentonville, Ark.; Liv Racing Collective)
    • Heidi Franz (Seattle, Wash.; DNA Pro Cycling)
    • Emily Newsom (Fort Worth, Tex.; Roxo Racing)
    • Paige Onweller (Belleville, Mich.; Trek/WTB/ABUS/HED/SRAM)
    • Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas; EF EDUCATION-TIBCO-SVB)
    • Alexis Skarda (Grand Junction, Colo.; Santa Cruz Bicycles)
    • Katherine Sheridan (Omaha, Neb.)
    • Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.)
    • Sarah Sturm (Durango, Colo.; Specialized/ Rapha/ Wahoo)
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