Austria-based Litespeed ambassador Michael Eichinger is a man after our heart. As a true Litespeed fan, he's never seen a build that he hasn't made bespoke. Lightweight carbon posts and bars, Campy components, and uberlight wheelsets - special is good. Extra-special is Michael's favorite wheelhouse.

When he wants to hit the trails hard, the weight weenie parts come off. He keeps it special, but practical. Such was the case earlier this month when a big race came up on his calendar: the UCI Gravel Worlds Series race in Velden, Wörthersee, Austria. His chariot? The Ultimate G2. What were the changes?

"My Litespeed Ultimate G2 was equipped with a Campagnolo Ekar drivetrain, featuring a 40-9/42 gear ratio. I was rolling on DT Swiss GRC wheels, paired with Specialized Pathfinder tires, 40mm wide," he says. "It provided the perfect balance of speed and traction for the challenging course."

As we all gear up for the race season to begin in North America, we asked Eichinger how the trails are shaping up over in Europe. After a scout session and the race, things are looking... well, perfect.

"The UCI Gravel World Series Race in Velden Wörthersee was an incredible weekend with temperatures soaring over 25 degrees (77F)," Eichinger says. "I embarked on a recon ride on Saturday and quickly realized the terrain would be fast and dry. Come Sunday's race at 9:15 am, the pace was blistering from the start, averaging over 31 km/h (19.25 mph).

"I found myself in a strong group and managed to break away on the final climb, securing a 23rd place finish in my age category. I'm extremely satisfied with my performance."

The top finishers of each age group earn a start at the UCI Gravel World Championships, on Oct. 5 and 6 in Halle-Leuven, Belgium. While his result was solid, it's going to require a second attempt if he wants to enjoy frites and waffles and hit the start line in Belgium.

"Unfortunately, I missed the qualification by 4 minutes in the 35-39 age category. I'm hoping for another chance, possibly in Italy. I'm really eager to participate in the World Championship in Belgium."

Luckily, the season is young. Go get it, Michael!

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