By Adam Becket published
The prizes on offer at the Belgian Waffle Ride California will be the "largest ever for a gravel race" with over $50,000 in cash and prizes being given out to competitors.
The organisers of the race, Monuments of Cycling, say that the prize purse is the largest ever within the discipline. It will be distributed between the top five men and women, and also includes $5,000 that will be given to the top three junior riders who compete.
Entry to the 132 mile 'Waffle' in California costs $250, and Monuments of Cycling also sells a range of merchandise, including branded 100% Speedcraft glasses at $195.
The BWR CA is part of the 2022 Quadrupel Crown of Gravel series, which includes Belgian Waffle Rides in North Carolina, Utah and Kansas throughout the year. The winner of the series will be judged on cumulative times, and there will be prizes on offer for this as well, in a competition which the organisers call the "the Hell of the North, South, East and (Mid) West."
There will be prizes on offer for the other three gravel bike races, both for top overall finishers and for other age categories.
The Californian event runs from 29th April to the 1st May in Southern California, and the $50,000 of prizes will be on offer during the long "Waffle" ride on Saturday 30th April.
Michael Marckx, BWR's creator and race director said that the prize structure was open to anybody, but that they sought to attract the best gravel races to the Californian event.
"Our announcement of the 2022 prize money structure means that our effort to host the very best professional gravel racers in the world to race on the trails and roads of San Diego has commenced," he explained.
"We are so excited about this year’s guaranteed prize purse, which includes a payout for the top junior riders, because it will allow us to better reward the elites while broadening the pool of recipients and shining a spotlight on the burgeoning talent we have here in the United States.
"The BWR events’ prize structure is open to all racers, not a hand-picked group of exclusive racers. This is for everybody! These open purses for the Waffle races mean that spectators and participants alike will be able to watch, and perhaps participate side by side with, remarkably talented, world class cyclists."
In the press release, the race organisers said they were committed to providing safety and support for anyone who races, with feed zones, mechanical support, and volunteers on hand to help those in need.
Marckx said: "With other events placing the elite racers as the focus of their efforts, we have made a conscious decision to provide rider safety and support that covers everyone who registers.
"We want to complement our significant prize purse offering with unparalleled aid for all the riders who approach these events as some of the most important days on their calendar. It’s our mission that the final finishers will receive the same love and support the first finishers get."
Hello, I'm Cycling Weekly's digital staff writer. I like pretending to be part of the great history of cycling writing, and acting like a pseudo-intellectual in general.
Before joining the team here I wrote for Procycling for almost two years, interviewing riders and writing about racing. My favourite event is Strade Bianche, but I haven't quite made it to the Piazza del Campo just yet.
Prior to covering the sport of cycling, I wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. I have degrees in history and journalism.
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