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Gravel

Watch: ‘Choosing a different path’ with Alexey Vermeulen

The former professional road racer has found new inspiration in racing on the American off-road, as well as helping others get to the start line

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As a teenager, Alexey Vermeulen thought he was on the right track. He was racing on the road in Europe, headed down the path toward professional cycling.

From the junior development ranks to the WorldTour then back to a continental squad, Vermeulen spent many years traveling and racing in Europe. The Tour de France loomed large on his adolescent horizon.

But, he wasn’t completely fulfilled. In 2018 Vermeulen came home. He raced mountain bikes. A few years later, he threw his hat in the gravel ring. Earlier this year he started posting some impressive results — Vermeulen won BWR San Diego in April, and last month he was second overall in the inaugural Life Time Grand Prix series.

The 27-year-old doesn’t just find satisfaction racing bikes himself; he’s interested in helping others experience the sport as well. In 2021, he and former teammate Ryan Petry launched the From the Ground Up project to help novice cyclists train and prepare for the Leadville Trail 100.