Merida ist Gravel-Weltmeister

Merida is gravel world champion

Matej Mohoric, the newly crowned gravel world champion, triumphed on a previously unreleased Silex gravel bike, which will not be officially presented until October 19, 2023!

Matej Mohoric surprisingly secured victory at the second Gravel World Championships. The Slovenian from Team Bahrain Victorious crowned a strong race with victory and the rainbow jersey on the new Silex from Merida Bikes and prevailed against strong competition.

At the first Gravel World Championships last year in northern Italy, there was a lot of discussion about the comparatively easy route with many asphalt sections. In 2022, the first five riders did not ride real gravel bikes, but rather aero racing bikes. The world cycling association UCI learned lessons from this controversial premiere. At the second World Championships in northeastern Italy, in the Veneto region, the men faced a route with 1,890 meters of altitude over 169 kilometers. It all started with a lap around Lago Le Bandie, followed by a flat section of about 30 kilometers and a first hilly zone with short, steep climbs. The loop around Pieve di Soligo was around 50 kilometers and featured further climbs and some cobblestone sections. After another mostly flat loop of around 30 kilometers, a challenging 25-kilometer loop put the riders to the final test, with the final climb just 5 kilometers from the finish.

Three riders from the Bahrain Victorious team competed in the race for the men's world championship: the Slovenians Matej Mohoric and Matevz Govekar and the Croatian Fran Miholjevic. While the latter two rode the Scultura Endurance GR model, Mohoric opted for the new Silex from Merida Bikes, which will not be presented to the public in detail until October 19th. The build of his bike shows how challenging the route and some of the unpaved sections were, as Mohoric opted for 40mm wide Continental Terraspeed tires in a tubeless configuration, a compact chainring and an 11 to 34 tooth sprocket. From the start the pace was very high and around 40 riders broke away from the others, with Mohoric, Govekar and Miholjevic all forming that crucial group and more and more riders were left behind, including some big names and pre-race favourites.

After an attack from Matevz Govekar was repelled, Matej Mohoric attacked with 70 kilometers to go, joining Florian Vermeersch and Connor Swift. This trio quickly increased their lead to 4 minutes. Matej Mohoric had carefully scouted the last 40 kilometers and planned to use this challenging part of the route to his advantage. He intended to take advantage of the tricky and unpaved descents to utilize his riding skills and leverage his weight on the climbs, which worked perfectly. Due to the high pace that Mohoric set on the climbs, first Swift and then Vermeersch lost contact. Even a slip on the final unpaved descent couldn't stop Mohoric from winning, and the Slovenian crowned his strong season with the gravel cycling world championship title.

"I'm super proud of this achievement. The feeling is great and I had one of the best days of my life on the bike - I felt very strong and was able to make the most of my mountain bike racing experience on this route," said an overjoyed one Matej Mohoric after the race. This result is also a dream scenario for Merida Bikes, as the world championship race was won on its new Silex gravel bike, which will not be fully unveiled to the public for another ten days.