Matt Bottrill: Giving Gravel A Go

11 August 2021


Time Trial Pro Matt Bottrill has decided to switch things up and try his hand at gravel riding. The Leicestershire based athlete made a pact with himself to have more fun with his riding and explore new ventures this year; hence his decision to test out the gravel scene. In this post Matt Delves into detail explaining his experience of giving gravel a go.

Finding my escape

“Work can be stressful at times as I am always talking about performance and thinking of ways to make the next performance gain, sometimes I need to get away from everything; and I have found that the best way to escape stress is to hop on a gravel bike, It really does help me zone out and I genuinely enjoy it".

Competition time

"A few weeks ago I took part in my first ever gravel challenge called Gravelo! This is a mixed-surface, 62-mile, gravel cycling challenge that tests you to traverse the formidable field roads of East Leicestershire and race the fast-flowing gravel tracks of Rutland. With a total climb of almost 4700ft, this challenging route consists of two loops, the “North” and the “South”, both starting and finishing at the famous cycling destination that is Cafe Ventoux”.

“I really enjoyed the mixed surface route and it was great to ride with my friends and meet a lot of like-minded athletes. I do however think the highlight of the day was being able to ride and push my new Giant Revolt, it was awesome! This bike is so comfortable and has that zip and stiffness at the ready for when you want to lay the power down".

Check out this challenging yet incredible route here:

My go to gravel bike

"This high-performance all-rounder is the choice of Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders for gruelling gravel races like the UNBOUND Gravel. It’s designed around a lightweight carbon frameset with gravel-riding geometry, so you can tackle long, hard rides with greater control and less fatigue. A full carbon fork eats up bumps, and the D-Fuse seat post and Contact XR D-Fuse handlebar absorb shocks and vibrations.

The frame is integrated for disc brakes and has clearance for larger tyres up to 45mm so you can float through the rough stuff. Add in some clever frame details, including the X-Defender downtube protector and smart mount system for racks and accessories, and you have everything you need for your gravel adventures.

I’m really excited about this new venture and I'm definitely going to strive to compete in the Gravel National Championships linked below over the next year. Over the coming months I will give you an insight into my training and also the set up that I will be using”.

If you’re contemplating trying something new, this is your sign to do so!