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More "gravel" controversy in the UCI World Tour this week. The race "Paris Tours" takes place each autumn outside of Paris, and this year the organizers added NINE sections of gravel paths through vineyards. And while I thought it was amazing, more important people did not. The boss of QuickStep Floors (and arguable the most powerful Directeur Sportif in all of cycling), Patrick Lefevere tweeted:
"This will be the last time that Quick-Step do this race, even if we win. [It has] nothing to do with road cycling."
To his credit, he tweeted this before the end of the race, so he didn't know if his team would win or not (they didn't). But there is some rich irony in his words given that his team is custom made for cobblestone classics in the spring (which are also not raced on smooth roads, but rather cobblestones the size of cantaloupes).
I think Lefevere is on the wrong side of history here. While I love road racing, I believe that the addition of the gravel made Paris Tours 2018 beautiful, unique, and something to see. Watch the highlights yourself. The gravel is what made the race!