Regulations

The Trek UCI Gravel World Series is composed of individual Gravel competitions.  A Trek UCI Gravel World Series event is a competitive mass participation event with a mass start which is fully timed for all participants and splits results per age group and gender.  The riders have to respect road traffic regulations at all times.  The UCI Gravel World Championships is the last event of the series, open to riders qualified through the series.

Licenses

Riders can take part in the Trek UCI Gravel World Series if they hold any of the following licenses:

  • No license, under conditions laid established by the organizer’s National Federation.
    • Some national federations require a day license which can be bought on-site.
    • Certain countries also require a medical certificate.
  • Amateur license
  • Master license
  • Cycling for All license
  • Elite license


Note
: Riders qualified for the UCI Gravel World Championships, must hold a valid licence issued by their respective national federation (day licences being excluded), must hold a UCI ID and must be adequately insured against accidents and civil responsibility in the country in which the UCI Gravel World Championships are held.

Age groups

The Trek UCI Gravel World Series event must provide results for the following different age groups, for both women and men:

  • ELITE MEN
  • ELITE WOMEN
  • 19 – 34y
  • 35 – 39y
  • 40 – 44y
  • 45 – 49y
  • 50 – 54y
  • 55 – 59y
  • 60 – 64y
  • 65 – 65y
  • 70 – 74y
  • 75 – 79y
  • Etc. (any further 5-year category for which riders have entered)

Age Groups applicable to the Trek UCI Gravel World Series are defined by the rider’s age on December 31st of the year of the qualifier event.  Riders who qualify past the World Championships for next year’s World Championships and change age group in the following year will automatically take their qualification to the next age group so don’t need to qualify again in their new age group in the year of the World Championships. As per the regulations applied for the UCI Gravel World Championships, medals and titles will be awarded for men and/or women as soon as 1 rider is registered in the respective 5-year age category. Elite riders from a UCI registered team must always take part in the elite category.  Elite riders with a national level license have the choice to start in the elite category or in their respective age group, but must make that choice prior to the race.  Riders signing up for the elite category can only qualify for the elite category at the UCI Gravel World Championships.  Riders signing up for the age group categories can only qualify for the age group categories at the UCI Gravel World Championships.  If a rider who started with the elites didn’t qualify in the elite category, (s)he can’t claim qualification in his/her age group if his/her finish time would be within the top 25% of his age category.

As per the official qualification system for the 2024 UCI Gravel World Championships, each Trek UCI Gravel World Series event grants qualification rights for the UCI Gravel World Championships for those riders finishing in the first 25% of their category.

The 25% is calculated based on the number of starters in each age group, and not on the number of riders having finished the race. 

In addition, the first three riders of each official category will qualify directly for the World Championships, independently of the number of starters in that age group.  Riders must finish the race to gain qualification.

For all other methods of qualification (wild cards, gravel national champions, etc.), please consult the official qualification system for the 2024 UCI Gravel World Championships.

The names of riders having gained qualification through the Trek UCI Gravel World Series will be communicated on the Trek UCI Gravel World Series website  and will receive an official email from the UCI inviting them to register for the UCI Gravel World Championships via the dedicated online registration portal.

All riders (whether license holders or not) completing the same distance in a qualifier event are officially considered as participants in the Trek UCI Gravel World Series, i.e. they must be part of the same ranking list, independently of the wave in which they started.

To standardize all the events in the Trek UCI Gravel World Series and render them accessible to all levels of cyclists, the UGWS has standard course formats for all qualifier events. In addition to providing maximum safety guarantees, each UGWS course must have the following features:

Format

Only single day gravel races can be part of the UCI Gravel World Series.

The objective of the series being to allow both competitive and recreational riders (and riders with or without a license) to compete in a single mass participation event, it is therefore not possible to create a separate UCI wave within a single event.

Course distances

The length of the Gravel Races must be between 50 and 175 km with an advice to have a distance of 80-130km. In case of a challenging course in the mountains, the distance should be shorter.

Qualifying distance : although one distance for all age groups is an option, events are advised to have two distances with a shorter mediofondo distance for the older age groups and a longer granfondo distance for the younger age groups.  In case two distances are on offer, the advise is to have men 19-59 years old and women 19-49 years old do the long distance to qualify and the men 60+ and women 50+ do the short distance to qualify.

There shall only be one official qualifying distance per age group. The organizer must confirm the qualifying distance applicable to each age group and publish such information before, both online and in briefings and communication materials shared with the riders.

Course formats

Two different types of courses may be applied:

  • A course consisting of multiple laps on a circuit (min. 40km circuit and maximum 3 laps)
  • A point-to-point race either with the same start and finish venue, or with different start and finish venues. This point-to-point option is preferred and more widely applied across all UGWS events.

The race should be on existing paths and (gravel) roads with a majority of paths where a car can pass, single tracks are allowed but should be minimized.  No new created paths or prairies are allowed.

The course should have a minimum of 60% off road with cobbles being considered as off road.

Feed Zones

The local organizer must provide feed zones where participants have access to drinks and food every 25-30km.

All feed zones must have:

  • Beverages: water, isotonic drinks and, if the temperature is low, a hot drink
  • Food: fruits, cereal bars, a food item with high nutritional content
  • A sufficient number of mobile toilets must be provided.

For races with on a circuit:

  • There must be a feed zone delimited by signs at the start and end of the zone.

For point-to-point races:

  • Less than 90 km: minimum 2 feed zones are required.
  • More than 90 km: minimum 3 feed zones are required.
  • An additional beverage per rider at the finish line is required.
  • Signs must be placed to indicate the presence of each feed zone at least 5 km ahead of each zone

Display panels

In addition to standard signs warning participants about dangers along the course or indicating the direction to follow, specific panels must also be installed on both sides of the road as follows:

For races with multiple laps on a circuit

  • Panels must be placed to indicate the last 5km, 1km, and 500m before the finish line.
  • Panels must be placed to indicate the start and end of each feed zone
  • Panels must be placed to confirm the number of laps remaining

For point-to-point races:

  • Panels must be placed to indicate the last 50km, 25km, 10km, 5km, 1km, and 500m before the finish line.
  • The presence of the next feed zone must be indicated at least 5 km ahead of each zone
  • All the technical characteristics of the climbs must be indicated at the bottom of all climbs; this includes: the average and maximum gradients and the length of the climb

Leading vehicles

The race must be preceded by a motorcycle to open the race.  The last rider is followed by another motorcycle to see that all riders are ok and to call for help in case of emergency.

Bikes

Riders may use any type of bike (road bike, mountain bike, city bike, hybrid bike, cross bike, etc.) with the exception of tandem or recumbent bikes. time trial road bikes are also forbidden. During the UCI Gravel World Championships, all bikes should have dropped handlebars.  It’s not possible to participate in the UCI Gravel World Championships with a mountain bike.

Jerseys

Riders are free to wear any type of jersey in the qualifier events, with the following exception:

Reigning World Champions are obliged to wear their official jersey in UGWS qualifier events .

Mechanical assistance

All riders should bring their own tools and spare tire or tubular to the race.  Tools have to be foreseen in the feed zones to give riders the opportunity to fix other problems. Riders can change wheels during the event, but have to use the same bike frame throughout the event.

Timekeeping and ranking

The event must be timed for all the participants, for the entire length of the course. The timekeeping provider must produce an overall ranking per category and gender.  The timing of the event must start with the gun, and not when each individual rider crosses the starting carpet (GUN time principle).  For events with very high numbers of participants, an exception to this rule may be requested to the Trek UCI Gravel World Series to ensure that riders in later waves are timed by applying the NET time principle (from the moment they cross the start carpet to the moment they cross the finish line).  The winner of the different age groups can only be defined using Gun time.

Published results of qualified riders

The organizer must provide a full list of results to Golazo Sports within 5 days after the completion of the event.  This list must be created in Microsoft Excel (or another spreadsheet program) and must contain the following details: category, full name, email and nationality of the rider (or country of residence if the nationality is not available).

The timing company must use the following regulations to define the number of qualified riders per age group:

  • ALL riders completing the qualifying distance, independent in which start wave they are starting, are eligible for the UCI Gravel World Championships and must be taken into account to calculate the top 25% list of qualified riders.
  • For all categories, the first three finishers per age group are always qualified, independently of the number of starters in that specific age group. A five-year age group should be created from the moment that at least 1 rider from that age group participates.
  • The top 25% is based on the number of riders effectively taking the start (not the number of pre-registered riders or riders finishing the race). The 25% is rounded to the highest number to determine the exact number of qualified riders per category (for instance: with 26 starters, 6.5 are eligible for qualification, meaning that the first 7 will be invited for the World Championships)
  • As the minimum age to participate in the UCI Gravel World Championships is 19 years old, only riders born before 31 December 2005 can qualify for the 2024 UCI Gravel World Championships. For events organized in the same year and immediately following the  World Championships (October-December), riders aged 18 at the moment of qualification may already qualify as they will turn 19 in the year of the 2024 World Championships.
  • Lists of qualified riders may be published online or on-site at the qualifying event as long as it is clearly specified that the results are pending approval from the UCI. Only the list which is published on the https://www.ucigravelworldseries.com website can be considered as the official list of qualified riders.

Starting procedures

OPTION 1

  • Elite men start In front, followed by elite women with a small interval (minimum 1 minute). Both elite starts should have a priority start box with maximum 25 riders. Only Elite riders can apply to be a candidate to be put in the priority start box with the organizer and it’s the organizer who allocates the 25 spots for the priority start box.
  • Age group categories must start with minimum 2 minutes interval to the elite women and can be combined in one big start or in separated starts per age category with small intervals (always minimum 1 minute), depending on the size of the total field.

OPTION 2

  • Men Elite start in front (with priority startbox) followed by men 19-34, 35-39, 40-44 and 45-49 age categories with a minimum of 1 minute interval. Men age groups can start together or with small intervals depending on the size of the field, but always lined up per category.
  • Women elite (with priority startbox) start with the women age groups behind the men age groups 19-49.
  • All different starts will have different gun times.
  • Organizers may request to apply a different starting procedure if the given event has been run in a different way in previous editions. The technical delegate of the UGWS will study the request and confirm the procedure which will be applied.

Starting procedures at the UCI Gravel World Championships

At the UCI Gravel World Championships, riders of the Elite category will be lined up at the start based on a points system which is a cumulation of the following points.

  • Points won during the UCI Gravel World Series events in the overall male/female result per race for top 25 : 200-180-160-150-140-130-120-110-100-90-80-70-65-60-55-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 points.
  • Points won during the UCI Gravel World Championships of the previous year in the elite category for top 25 : 1000-750-600-500-450-400-350-300-275-250-225-200-180-160-140-120-100-80-70-60-50-40-30-20-10 points.
  • 50% of the points in the UCI rankings road, mountain bike cross country (XCO), mountain bike marathon (XCM) and cyclocross

Riders of the age groups will still be positioned on a first come, first serve base at the start of the World Championships.

Finish line

The finish must consist of a straight line measuring at least 100 meters long and be marked with barriers on either side for at least the last 100 meters before and 50 meters after the finish line.  These distances may be shortened in the event of a finish on top of a mountain, where the speed is lower.

The finish is preferably on a road section or better gravel section.

Podium ceremony protocol

The organizer must announce, both on the website and at registration, the precise timing of the podium ceremony.  The top three finishers of each age group, in both genders, are expected to attend the podium ceremony.

The podium ceremony can be started with the younger age groups as they often finish earlier, thus  giving the opportunity to older age groups to prepare while the ceremonies have already started.

The age group order of the podium ceremony is the following:

  • Elite Men
  • Elite Women
  • 19-34 male
  • 19-34 female
  • 35-39 male
  • 35-39 female
  • 40-44 male
  • 40-44 female
  • 45-49 male
  • 45-49 female
  • 50-54 male
  • 50-54 female
  • 55-59 male
  • 55-59 female
  • 60-64 male
  • 60-64 female
  • 65-69 male
  • 65-69 female

and any further 5-year category for which riders have entered

The speaker calls the number three to the podium, followed by the number two and number one, announcing them in the local language and in English.  When all riders are on stage, the number three gets the UGWS medal, followed by the number two.  Then the winner first gets the UGWS age group winner jersey followed by his/her medal.   The jersey must be worn on stage and not be given in hand.

UGWS Medal

Every rider who finishes in the top 25% of his/her category in the UGWS qualifier events shall be given a medal. To ensure all concerned riders receive their medal and confirmation of qualification, the organizer sets up a desk where these medals will be distributed to the participants following the race. The top 3 finishers per category receive their medal on the podium.

UGWS Jersey

TREK UCI Gravel World Series will provide a jersey for every winner in his/her age category for both men’s and women’s races. There will also be a special design jersey for the elite male/female winner.

Participants

  • Mandatory helmet: As per UCI regulation 3.031 , wearing a helmet is mandatory for all UGWS events, throughout the whole race. Participants are informed in advance by the organization that they will be barred from the start or that their race number will immediately be withdrawn if they are caught by a member of the organization without their helmet.
  • Medical certificate: To confirm the physical capability of a cyclist to take part in a UGWS race, the organizer must provide one of the following guarantees:
    1. Either that each participant holds a medical certificate of fitness to practice cycling, which has been issued by a doctor
    2. Or that the organizer stipulates, in the conditions for entry, that the participant attests to (and signs) the fact that he/she is in perfect health and fit for the physical effort required for such a cycling race.


Options a) is advised  in UGWS events.

  • Accident and third-party liability insurance: The organizer must ensure that all cyclists who take part in a UGWS event possess appropriate medical and third-party liability insurance.
  • Each rider is responsible for ensuring that they possess adequate medical insurance. This can be ensured either through an individual race license (from a National Federation affiliated to the UCI) covering races abroad or through a private insurance policy.

Safety on the course

  • Safety plan: The organizer must prepare a full safety plan, comprising in particular:
    1. A detailed plan of the route or routes to be taken during the event with all the necessary instructions relating to the course, in particular the danger points (crossroads, turns, damaged road surface, etc.) and the methods used to make these danger points safe
    2. The requirements laid down by the legislation of each country, namely obligations of the traffic regulations of the country or countries concerned, in connection with the organization of a cycling event on a public highway, and the rules of the national cycling federation affiliated to the UCI for organizing a cycling race
    3. The number of road intersections and marshal / police positions
    4. The emergency system implemented
    5. The details of all the hospitals close to the event that have been notified of the fact that the event is taking place
    6. All the important telephone numbers which must be known.
  • The timing carpet at the finish should be as thin as possible to ensure the safety of participants. It should be a flat carpet, with a system of wires on the ground or which ensure timing at either side, but preferably not a bumpy carpet as used in running events.
  • Identification of danger points: The organizer must take care to indicate all the danger points, such as dangerous downhill bends, portions of road which may be damaged, etc. For this purpose, they will ensure the presence of signs or people to warn the cyclists of the danger at these points. Since crossroads are also high-risk points, they will be regulated by marshals wearing an official bib of the organization and carrying a marker flag and/or a whistle. They will therefore manage, as effectively as possible, the smooth crossing of the cyclists and an adequate control of road traffic. In addition, and in order to warn drivers who are approaching any crossroads on the course, the organizer will position a sign indicating that a cycling race is in progress and position a marshal at all major crossroads.
  • Following vehicles: To ensure sporting fairness and to avoid possible problems, the organizer must include a provision in the rules of the event specifying that cyclists must compete alone and will be eliminated immediately if they are caught benefiting from roadside assistance from a third party not belonging to the event organization.
  • Radio or mobile telephone links: Radio or mobile telephone support is essential during the event. The organization will therefore put in place a system which permits rapid and efficient communication between the people involved in the organization. For the well-being of the cyclists (who are increasingly prone to carry a mobile phone during the race), their families and also the marshals spread out over the race, an emergency number will be available (and notified to everyone) throughout the event.

First aid

  • Emergency system: The organizer shall ensure the following requirements are met:

For point-to-point races: at least 1 ambulance available for an event of up to 2’000 participants with 1 additional ambulance for each 2’000 additional participants. These ambulances should be placed in strategic positions to easily reach dangerous points or be centralized on the course

For races with multiple laps on a circuit: 1 ambulances should remain on stand-by with 1 additional ambulance per 2000 extra participants.

The UGWS will accept an adapted emergency system created by the organizer for its event, different from the one listed above, subject to prior agreement having been requested from and granted by the UGWS.

  • The organizer must make sure that first aid is available to provide assistance to cyclists at the start and finish.
  • Information on the back side of the race numbers: To deal as effectively as possible with accidents which may affect a participant during the event, and to facilitate the work of the doctors as much as possible, the organizer must produce race numbers which include on the back side a medical form which must be completed. The organizer must warn all participants of the imperative need to complete this form and inform doctors so that they are aware that this vital information is available. The minimum information required by the UCI, which shall be written on the back side of the race numbers, is as follows:
    • Last name and first name
    • Blood group
    • Present physical condition (asthma, diabetes, allergy(ies), epilepsy, etc.)
    • Any current medication
    • Last name, first name and telephone  number (with national dialing code) of the emergency contact.