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Culverwell third in national gravel bike champs

Culverwell third in national gravel bike champs

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Culverwell third in national gravel bike champs

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Sam Culverwell claimed some big name scalps on his way to a podium finish in the British Gravel Championships.

In hot, duty conditions he claimed third during an aggressive race around the trails of King’s Forest near Bury St Edmunds.


Pictured: Sam Culverwell driving the pace (RED:ON Events).

He outsprinted current British cyclocross champion Cameron Mason (Trinity) for that spot, with the likes of six-time national time trial champion Alex Dowsett (NoPinz), last year’s winner Jacob Vaughan (Tekkerz) and double Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee (BMC) all trailing in behind.

Culverwell was part of the early break on the opening lap that defined the race with Joe Griffiths (Saddleback) and Ben Thomas (Ben Thomas Coaching), soon building a lead of more than 30 seconds. 

As the second circuit began Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) led a group off the front of the main bunch, bridging to the leaders and the day’s main move was made, with Mason, Tom Couzens (Ribble Collective), and eventual race winner Joe Blackmore (Team Inspire) also present.


Pictured: Joe Blackmore celebrates the win (RED:ON Events).

With their lead established and the chasers unlikely to bring them back, the attacks began, the group first reduced to four before, as the final circuit began, Blackmore and Swift were ahead of Culverwell and Mason. 

The leading pair worked together in the final lap, with Swift’s kick in the last 100m to not enough as Blackmore surged to the line.

It was Blackmore’s first gravel race. He represents the Team GB Under 23 mountain bike programme but also races cyclocross and was 10th at the U23 world championships last winter. 

This year he has raced an extensive road calendar, taking top 10 finishes in elite men’s races as well as finishing 12th in the recent Tour de l’Avenir, the under 23 Tour de France.


Pictured: Sam Culverwell finished ahead of some of British cyclings big names in taking third at the nationals. (RED:ON Events).

Xan Crees took the women’s title earlier in the day.

The British Gravel Championships races are run completely off-road on a 15.3km circuit.

The men's and women's races are part of a wider gravel event, King’s Cup, which includes Masters age-group races for both genders, and recreational rides of 40 and 100km.

Both men and women tackle the same distance, 76.5km, five laps of the circuit, while junior races ride only four laps.


Senior Men

Joe Blackmore (Team Inspire)  in 2-05-16

Connor Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) at same time

Sam Culverwell (Dolan Elesse RT) at 2-13

Cameron Mason (Trinity) at same time

Tom Couzens (Ribble Collective) at 3-13

Joe Griffiths (Saddleback) at 3-14

Joe Holt (Tekkerz) at 4-58

Ben Thomas (Ben Thomas Coaching) at same time

Alistair Brownlee (BMC) at 5-00

Louis Moore (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli) at 5-02

Pictured top: Sam Culverwell shakes hands with Cameron Mason after pipping the Scotsman to third place. (RED:ON Events)

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