The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is proud to announce that its Gravel World Series, that was introduced in 2022 and culminated with a very successful first UCI Gravel World Championships, will grow considerably in 2023. Seven new events join the series with races spread over four continents.
The 2023 Trek UCI Gravel World Series will consist of 17 qualifier events and a UCI World Championships in which the best riders can race for the coveted rainbow jerseys. The top 25% of each age group qualifies for the UCI Gravel World Championships which will again take place in Veneto (Italy) in October.
The season starts with five new events in April and early May. The first event on the calendar, La indomable, takes place on April 23rd in Spanish Berja (Almeria) in the Southern Andalucia region: riders will be able to enjoy the beautiful and scenic gravel roads in the Sierra De Gador mountain range during the challenging 105km race.
The second new arrival to the calendar is Swartberg100 in Prince Albert, South Africa, where riders combine long paved sections with three long open gravel sections. The Swartberg pass is the major difficulty, with its summit coming just 20km before the finish. The race takes place on April 29th.
A third new qualifier will be held the following day (April 30th) in Valkenburg (the Netherlands) which has already hosted many UCI events, including the UCI World Championships for road and for cyclo-cross. Gravel Fondo Limburg has its start on the Cauberg and takes riders on two or three big loops with every lap featuring the steep Keutenberg before heading back to the city centre finish.
Gravel Challenge Blaavands Huk is a new event on the Danish west coast, taking place on 6th May. The flat 150km course winds through picturesque villages and features sections on the beach.
The fifth new qualifier is one week later, on May 13th in Aachen, Germany. The 3RIDES Gravel Race is part of a cycling event with a big expo and will be ridden over 4 or 7 local laps starting from the Chio horse tracks in the city centre.
The Gralloch in southern Scotland is the first race of the series in Great Britain. Held in Dumfries and Galloway, it comprises 90% gravel over 110km with 2000m of elevation. The Galloway Forest provides a magnificent setting for this event, which is organised by the team behind the successful Tour of Cambridgeshire.
A first Canadian event on the Trek UCI Gravel World Series is scheduled on June 11th in Thornbury, Ontario, on a 125km course with 1467m of elevation. The wide undulating roads will take riders through a beautiful scenic forest environment mixed in several challenging technical sections.
Existing qualifiers in Australia, France, USA, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and Spain will remain in the series after a great first season.
The second UCI Gravel World Championships are scheduled on 7-8 October in the same area in Veneto as the first edition, but with more challenging courses. Once again, qualified age-group riders will line up alongside athletes competing in the Elite race, which this year attracted stars such as Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Gianni Vermeersch, Mathieu Van der Poel and Peter Sagan.
The second Australian qualifier event takes place after the World Championships and will count as qualifier event for 2024.