On home roads, Jasper claims the first continental title as well as the Belgian national title
In his home town of Leuven, Jasper Stuyven once again raised his arms to the sky, winning the historic first edition of the European gravel championships. The victory also earned him the title of Belgian national champion.
Jasper, who raced on a beautiful Trek Domane, overcame his competitors thanks to an excellent performance that allowed him to cross the finish line alone. Behind him, compatriot Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep) finished at 1’21”, while German Paul Voss was third.
Today, Stuyven was simply the strongest. On the gravel roads around his hometown, Jasper showed a great form and on the last lap he made the decisive move, attacking and building up the solid lead with which he arrived at the finish.
After a series of encouraging placements and gutsy rides, now there’s a fact: Jasper is back on the top step of the podium!
Today is a special day. This victory, this title, is a great satisfaction. Winning in my region in front of my people, makes it even more memorable. I had the right feeling from the start, I felt I could make a difference today. I raced hearing cheers all along the way, it was really nice. Gravel races always bring so many hidden dangers, but I thought little about it and relied on my feelings. I only thought about pushing, avoiding risks and always keeping the lead. I raced waiting for the right moment. When I realised that the others were tired, I went all in and attacked. Few calculations and a lot of grit. I had a plan and I made in happen in the best possible way. I am very happy.
I missed the victory and I was waiting for it, I won’t hide it, but I never stopped fighting and believing that it would come sooner or later. This jersey is a great boost of confidence for the last races of the year. I still have a chance to make my mark and I don’t want to let it slip away. The World Gravel Championship? That wasn’t on the agenda, we’ll see this week if something will change. The first thought is to do well on the road with my Lidl-Trek, the rest I will evaluate later.