The first German UCI Gravel race will take place on Saturday May 13th with start and finish at the Chio Aachen as the 5th new event in the Trek UCI Gravel World Series.
The race takes place at the German-Belgian-Dutch border with start and finish in the city. Organizer Björn Müller can give us some more information on how the event will be organized.
Björn, what can riders expect from the race?
“The race starts and finishes at the Chio Aachen, a complex famous for its yearly equestrian horse festival to be compared with what the Tour de France is for cyclists, the biggest one in the world!
The gravel race is part of a three day festival with large bike expo, bike testing, different bike competitions and live performances on stage. The gravel race is the highlight of the competitive events of the weekend.”
On what type of course will the race be held?
“The first part on the complex is technical but fast and the first half has some cobblestone sections before entering the woods north of Aachen where riders have three short but steep climbs, the last one at 15%. The younger age groups must do 7 laps on the 19.5km course, the men over 60 and women over 50 have a 4 laps race on the same course.”
Is it very technical?
“It depends on the weather. If it’s dry, it’s a fast race without too many difficulties, but the climbs will make the difference at the end as we have 300 meter of elevation per lap. If it’s raining, it will become much more technical and trickier.”
What is the percentage of offroad compared to paved sections?
“We have 68% of offroad if we count the cobbles as part of it.”
How many riders do you expect in total?
“At this moment, we do have 800 riders already signed up with some big names in the gravel world like Ivar Slik, Paul Voss, Tessa Neefjes but also some well-known cyclocross riders with our local Marcel Meisen next to former world champions Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout, the last one as reigning European champion in the men elite. We do have a special discount now over the eastern weekend with a 10 EUR discount code which riders can find on our Social Media pages. With the event in nearby Valkenburg already sold out, we saw a big increase in registrations in the last weeks and expect to sell out soon too…”
Good luck with the final preparations!