"Matej Mohoric will be the rider to beat" - Greg van Avermaet expecting big things from world champion on Unbound Gravel debut

For the first time in his career, Gravel World Champion Matej Mohoric will make an appearance at the renowned Unbound Gravel this Saturday. Despite his relative inexperience, the Rainbow Jersey will have to start as favourite according to Greg van Avermaet.

"Matej Mohoric will be the rider to beat,” Van Avermaet, who despite being retired from road racing will himself will be making his Unbound Gravel debut in 2024, previews in conversation with Belgian television channel Sporza. “You notice that if you have been a professional yourself. If a road rider competes, they’ll always be a favourite because they have that power."

“I did the World Championships two years ago and the Belgian and European Championships. With your road racing legs, you can always make a difference,” the former Olympic gold medalist analyses. “Mohoric has an advantage by having two teammates at Unbound. You can change wheels with teammates here and if his teammates really sacrifice themselves for him, he has a big advantage. They are in good shape and will certainly still be with him if he needs a wheel, which is why he is the perfect favourite."

As he mentioned, van Avermaet isn't going into his Unbound Gravel debut completely cold. The former Paris-Roubaix winner does see some vast differences from European gravel to its American equivalent however. "The gravel is a lot rougher here," he admits. "The tracks are wider and slightly less technical. In that respect it is really about the riding. But there are a few sections that are on the limit in terms of the risk of flat tyres and mechanical problems. Not having any problems will be a big factor.”

“Unbound is 327 km of slowly dying,” Van Avermaet concludes. “There are no real benchmarks. The strongest will emerge. I'm not afraid of that. This suits me. Years of training are still in my legs. As the race progresses, that will be an advantage. It is a matter of not suffering any problems or being able to fix them quickly. If I don't have any problems, I think I can finish in the top 10.”

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