3RIDES Gravel Race
Distances61.5 - 123 km
3RIDES Gravel Race is part of the bigger 3RIDES in Aachen’s CHIO complex, which hosts the annual World Equestrian Festival. The 3RIDES weekend has a big bike expo, features road bike rides, esports, music and lots of side events. The gravel race is the main competition during the festival. In 2024 a new Granfondo will also be part of the program.
The course is new compared to 2023. Riders will have a bigger 61.5km loop which needs to be done once for the men 60+ and women 50+ while the younger age groups must complete two laps of 61.5km for a total distance of 136km.
The new course goes over the Lousberg which is done via different smaller gravel paths towards the top. The rest of the course is in the fields east and north east of the city and close to the Dutch and Belgian border. The final 15km of the course is the local lap which was used this past season. Entry on the Aachener Chio terrain is now different than last year.
54% of the course is on gravel roads, 46% on paved and cobble roads.
After the start at the Aachener Chio, the road quickly starts to climb towards the Lousberg (1.5km at 6%). The highest point on course is reached after 5.5km when the road has reached the top of the Lousberg via different paths.
Another short but steep climb comes after 12.5km when the 400m paved road towards the top of the Rohrberg is 8% average. Most climbs can be found in the first half of the course, the second half has more rolling hills.
Total elevation per lap is just under 700m, meaning that the younger age groups have a total elevation of 1400m.
The city of Aachen has outstanding significance for Europe’s history, with settlements pre-dating the Roman colony and thermae. Emperor Charlemagne made Aachen his residence and ordered the construction of its cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1978, It is the westernmost city of Germany and sits at the heart of the StädteRegion Aachen, an innovative organisation of communities near the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The area is famous for its cultural heritage, its scientific achievements, but also for its options for hiking and biking. Other big cities in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen like Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf are within short reach, with lots of possibilities for shopping, wining and dining and arts just a short weekend trip away.