Eight race ‘Gravel Earth’ global series to debut in 2023

Lachlan Morton and Nathan Haas have helped Girona-based promoter Klassmark put together the series

Riders on gravel at the Traka event
Riders in action at the Traka event in Spain
(Image credit: Gravel Earth Series)

Gravel Earth, a new globe-trotting race series for professional an amateurs has been unveiled for 2023.

The series will include 6-8 gravel events around the globe and end with the ‘Earth Final’, a championship style race at the end of the cycling season.

The series, organised by Girona based promotion company Klassmark is, they say, designed to reach a global audience. 

Klassmark’s own endurance gravel event, the Traka, will get the series underway in April, and the Earth Final will wrap up proceedings in late October or November, also organised by the Spain-based promotion company. 

The various other events are will be organised by a variety of different promoters across the globe.

So grab yourself one of the best gravel bikes around, get training and get ready to ride. 

Cristina Freixes, Klassmark co-owner, said that the idea and thinking behind Gravel Earth (opens in new tab) was to expose more cycling fans to off-road racing far from civilisation. 

She said: “What we wanted is to choose different kinds of styles of races but all in amazing places.”

“To provide more of an experience than a competition.”

Despite Freixes promise to make the event more of an experience than a competition, there is still a slight competitive element incorporated into the event. 

A points system has been set up so that the top male, female and non-binary finishers of each event will be awarded a certain amount. Each gravel event will also be weighted differently depending on the difficulty of the course.

Gravel has boomed in recent years, with the UCI now organising its own Gravel World Championships. The event ran for the first time this year and was won by Belgian Gianni Vermeersch.

Belgian superstar Wout van Aert recently said that he was eyeing potential participation in the gravel worlds in the years to come. 

With each event being rated differently, Gravel Earth provides the opportunity for riders to select events that particularly suit their riding style and skillset.

For example, victory at the Migration Gravel Race in Kenya will earn you 12,000 points whereas the The Rift and Nordic Gravel Series events in Sweden will get you 9,000 a piece. 

Freixes explained that she and the Klassmark team took advice from riders such as Nathan Haas and Lachlan Morton to develop the points system. The overall ranking for the series will be determined by adding a rider's top two scores, as well as the result of the Earth Final, which will involve more points than the other events. 

“This classification format rewards the most regular and versatile bikers of the year,” Freixes added.

2023 GRAVEL EARTH SERIES QUALIFYING EVENTS

Riders tackling the migration race

(Image credit: Gravel Earth Series)

THE TRAKA - SPAIN

Dates:
April 29-30

Race Format: Three single stage options

Race Structure: Stage One, 100 km/1,000 metres Stage Two, 200 km/2,000 metres Stage Three, 360 km/4,500 metres

MIGRATION GRAVEL RACE - KENYA

Dates:
June 20-23

Race Format: Four stages

Race Structure: 650 km total, 8,000 metres of elevation

NATURE IS BIKE - FRANCE

Dates:
June 26

Race Format: Single stage

Race Structure: 300 km, 2,640 metres of elevation

OCTOPUS GRAVEL - SWITZERLAND

Dates:
July 1

Race Format: Timed segments

Race Structure: 155 km, 4,450 metres of elevation

THE RIFT - ICELAND

Dates:
July 23

Race Format: Single Stage

Race Structure: 200 km / 2,165 metres of elevation / 100 km / 1,050 metres of elevation

NORDIC GRAVEL SERIES: BERGSLAGEN - SWEDEN

Dates:
August 12

Race Format: Single stage

Race Structure: 180 km, elevation gain to be determined

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Tom Thewlis
Digital News and Features Writer

Tom is a Digital News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly. 


Before joining the Cycling Weekly team, he worked at Oxford Brookes University, most recently in the Internal Communications team. An avid cycling follower with a keen interest in racing, his writing previously featured on Casquettes and Bidons.