Vuelta a Espana

VeloNews Podcast: Gravel beef! The Vuelta a España’s punishing third week

On this week's episode we discuss the latest controversy in U.S. gravel racing, and we analyze the Vuelta's final week.

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On this week’s episode of The VeloNews Podcast we discuss the latest controversy in U.S. gravel racing.

Do team tactics belong in gravel? Should male riders be allowed to hand water bottles to their female teammates, or set the pace for women? These questions emerged from the SBT GRVL race after a VeloNews report about male CINCH cycling riders helping their female teammate, Lauren De Crescenzo, during the race.

The news caused a stir in the U.S. gravel scene, with multiple riders taking to social media to condemn the team tactics. The rules governing many gravel events allow riders to pace one another, and to even pass bottles and nutrition to one another, if they so please. But gravel’s unwritten rule of etiquette frown on team tactics.

We discuss the storyline and the response, and then have a spirited conversation about the growing tension created by the gap between the written and unwritten rules of gravel. As prize purses grow, and media outlets (VeloNews included) give more attention on gravel, will riders obey the spirit and etiquette rules, even if doing so hurts their chances at victory?

Then, Andrew Hood joins the podcast to break down the final week of the Vuelta a España, and why the big climbs on stages 17 and 18 may decide the overall. All that and more on this week’s episode of The VeloNews Podcast.