Maats Gravel Cup Veluwe
Text: Rob Schoof - Photos: Erik Mus & Floyd van Hoof
On Sunday 24 October Maats hosted their first edition of the Maats Gravel Cup: a new concept on gravel with a large race component. When we announced this event on our socials a few weeks ago, there was quite a lot to do about it. Some people thought that a gravel race out in the open wasn't such a good idea. Maats would not be Maats if we wouldn't be able to present an appropriate answer to this. That's why we came up with a concept in which we could organize a Gravel Cup without being a burden to anyone. On this page you can read everything about this concept and about the first edition.
The official Maats Gravel Cup 2021 Aftermovie
The original idea was a TT with teams of two over a 60 km route. In reality, this turned out to be infeasible on public roads, so we adapted the concept. We created a 68 km route with nine timed segments. The aim was to set the time as quickly as possible on the segments as teams of two and also to ride relaxed and calm on the intermediate sections. It became a kind of interval race with fast sections and stretches to recover and recharge for the next segment.
We put a route together with Local Legend Geert Klop. Geert has been living in Amsterdam for several years and is a ride leader for the Maats Sunday Socials, but he is originally from Garderen and knows this area like the back of his hand.
We created a route that avoids the busy places and narrow forest paths with pedestrians or other cyclists as much as possible. Nevertheless, it became a beautiful route with some parts where you can put the hammer down, but also enough parts to relax and enjoy.
For this event we were guests at location Kamp Buitendoor in Epe on the Veluwe. It was a beautiful autumn Sunday with mild temperatures around 12 degrees Celsius - perfect conditions for a nice gravel ride.
In total there were 30 teams at the start. All teams were made up of 2 riders and each team departed every two minutes. This was to ensure that the teams would not ride together so as to avoid benefiting from each other.
The first part of the route consisted of several forest trails and grassy moorlands. Already after 6.5 km the first segment started and the race was on...
In total, the teams had to complete 9 segments with a total length of approximately 35 kilometers. There was a lot of difference between the different segments, the first two were long and hilly and had a solid gravel surface. Riders with a large engine had an advantage here.
The segments later in the route were shorter but more technical and required more skills. At the end of the last segment, all participants returned to the start-finish location.
Chief of Start Alberto taking his job really serious
After the arrival of all teams, our race official Janco started working on the results. The results of all teams on the nine different segments were compared and processed in the results:
Top 3 Men
1. Oscar Sondermeijer & Joris Molenaar - 46:48
2. Luuk Schuurmans & Menno van Hees - 47:23
3. Douwe Doorduin & Ruben Kranendonk - 47:51
Top 3 Women + Mixed
1. Dorien Geertsema & Vyne vd Schoot - 52:34
2. Maaike Westerink & Susie Cats - 58:08
3. Anne-Marie Schonkie & Lisa Wörner - 58:25
View Full Results
Participants anxiously awaiting the results of the day
Winners women: Dorien Geertsema & Vyne v.d Schoot
Winners men: Joris Molenaar & Oscar Sondermeijer
Most people stayed for a while after the race. There was a lot of discussion about the right strategy and the experiences during the race and what would be done differently next time. Conditions were perfect in the lovely autumn sun, with sandwiches, soup and plenty of cold drinks.
We can rightly say that the first edition of the Maats Gravel Cup was a grand success. It was quite a challenge to set up a racing concept on the Veluwe without being a burden to other people. We managed to do so and we created a competitive concept. Therefore we certainly want to roll this out and organize it at other locations in the near future. Any ideas? Let us know.
Keep an eye on our Events page for upcoming rides and races, and subscribe to our newsletter to be kept in the know.
Chef Alberto trying his own creations
Most people stayed for some drinks and food after the race
Gravel Cup directors Rob & Janco