The popularity of gravel racing has gained further recognition with the announcement of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series.
The mass participation events, organized in partnership with Belgian sports marketing agency Golazo, will take place on four continents during 2022. The top 25% of each age group will qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships set to take place in Europe this autumn at a yet unannounced venue.
The new format borrows much from the existing UCI Gran Fondo World Series. However, unlike the Gran Fondo, the 12 upcoming races that form the Gravel World Series will be open to professionals with the UCI stating “the Gravel World Series concept is focusing on both very competitive riders from the Pro Elite rider level to older riders who still want to compete at a high level at a later age, but also to fun riders who like to keep fit and finish the event.”
Riders will compete in four groups across the 12 events: mens 19-59, mens 60+, womens 19-49 and women's 50+. The “cycling for all” concept sees the UCI allowing participants to compete on "any bike without electrical assistance", meaning races will likely see riders aboard a mix of gravel, cyclocross and mountain bikes.
“I am thrilled that we now have an exciting and rich calendar of gravel events for riders with an adventurous spirit who enjoy cycling on unsealed roads and paths,” says UCI President David Lappartient. “The best among them will earn the right to compete in the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships, the details of which will be released soon. The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is incredibly popular, and I am convinced that this concept will be equally successful for the gravel format.”
The series begins on April 3rd in the Philippines with an 85km event in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on the island of Luzon, located 200km northeast of the capital city of Manilla. The route is a mix of forest, gravel and dirt roads.
Other events in the calendar include visits to Australia, France, Belgium, Sweden and Italy. The Series will stop twice in the US, including an event in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which recently hosted the UCI Cyclocross World Championships.
2022 Trek UCI Gravel World Series calendar
- 3 Apr 2022 - Gravel Philippines, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, PHI
- 15 May 2022 - Seven Nannup, AUS
- 5 Jun 2022 - Wish One Gravel Race, Millau, FRA
- 18 Jun 2022, Gravel Adventure, Swieradow-Zdroj, POL
- 25 Jun 2022 - Highlands Gravel Classic, Fayetteville, USA
- 6 Aug 2022 - Jingle GX Gravel Race, Amana, USA
- 20 Aug 2022 - Gravel Grit n Grind, Halmstad, SWE
- 27 Aug 2022 - Houffa Gravel, Houffalize, BEL
- 3 Sep 2022 - La Monsterrato, Quattordio, ITA
- 04 Sep 2022 - Gravelista, Beechworth, AUS
- 17 Sep 2022 - Gravel One Fifty, Veenhuizen, NED
- 18 Sep 2022 - Ranxo, Ponts, ESP
For more information on the Trek UCI Gravel World Series, visit ucigravelworldseries.com (opens in new tab)
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.
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