Connor Swift, Alex Dowsett, Danni Shrosbree head up King's Cup gravel champs

Riders line up in Suffolk to compete for the British champion's red, white and blue jersey

Connor Swift rides in the 2023 Flèche Wallonne
Swift rides at the recent Tour de Wallonie, where he was fourth overall
(Image credit: David Stockman / Getty Images)

Connor Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) and Alex Dowsett (Nopinz) will be among those duking it out for the British Gravel Championship title on Saturday at the King's Cup in Suffolk. Also riding in the men's race are last year's title winner Jacob Vaughan (Tekkerz CC) and Alistair Brownlee, the double Olympic triathlon gold medal winner who won the inaugural King's Cup title race in 2021.

Last year's women's champion Danni Shrosbree (Amius) will be defending her title, with silver medallist Amira Mellor (Ribble Collective) also returning.

WorldTour rider Swift won his first ever gravel event back in May, the Gralloch UCI event in Scotland. He has put a lot of hard riding in his legs since then, including the Tour de Suisse, and ranks as the top men's favourite in Suffolk, with all eyes on Shrosbree for the women's race.

The King's Cup is held in the King's Forest near Bury St Edmunds. It's a three-day gravel festival held from 15-17 September, that comprises the men's and women's gravel championship on the Saturday, as well as junior and masters races. The Sunday features the gran fondo events, where riders can test themselves over either 40 or 100km.

Both the men's and women's race feature five laps of the forest course for a total 76.5km. The women start early – 8.30am, with the men following just after midday. The corresponding junior races begin just after the senior events, with riders tackling four laps (61.2km) of the course. Masters racing gets underway mid-afternoon, also over four laps.

The race is all off-road, according to the organisers, taking in a wide variety of surfaces, from hard pack and loose gravel, sand, grass and dirt. 

"The tracks are wide enough for bunch racing and overtaking, making for a dynamic day’s competition," they say.

As well as the riding there will be food stalls, a bar, live music and an expo, all designed to add to a festival atmosphere.

Last year Vaughan won his red, white and blue jersey in a sprint from a nine-man group, while Shrosbree attacked with South Africa's Tiffany Keep, who actually went on to cross the line first. But as first Brit, the title went to Shrosbree.

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