UCI Gravel Philippines is the first event on the UCI Gravel World Series calendar and is organized by the team who has organized UCI mountainbike marathon series events in the Philippines in the past.
The race in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija is organized on the northern Luzon island, one of the two major islands on the Philippines and located 200km northeast of the capital city of Manilla.
The race starts in the small village of Vega Grande, a few kilometres north of Bongabon. The 85km is a mix of flat gravel roads along the river, forest roads and dirt roads. The majority of the race is flat and fast.
The main difficulty of the days comes directly after the start with a climb starting after 5km going from 100m to 270m above sea level. The climb is a bit more than 3kms with parts up to 13%. After the downhill, the rest of the route is mainly flat with some paved sections on a major road and a passage through the village.
The last part makes another loop before finishing back in Vega Grande along the river.
The shorter 65km course makes a shortcut just it finishes at the same location as the 85km.
official qualifier distance for men 60+ and women 50+
official qualifier distance for men 19-59 and women 19-49
With a total distance of 85km and only 410m of elevation, the course can be considered flat and fast.
The major difficulty of the day is a 3.3km climb starting after 5km with parts up to 13% to reach a top of 270m above sea level, but the majority of the race is at the same altitude varying around 100m.
The shorter 62km also takes the climb in the start but skips the final flat 23km to have a total elevation of 310m.
Bongabon is located in the Nueva Ecija province in the north of the Luzon island and counts 66000 inhabitants.
The Bongabon towns is devided in 28 different “barangays”, small villages. The municipality is very stretched with a total surface of 28.000 hectares and is wellknown in the Philippines for its onion production. The first and second weekend of April are famous for the yearly fiestas in every town. Sibuyas Festival is celebrated as a form of thanksgiving every 10 April and shows the towns as one of the largest onion producers in Asia.
The average day temperature at the time of the event in April is between 22-33 degrees Celsius (72-91 Degrees Fahrenheit). The Falls Deepsap waterfall at Barangay Labi is one of the tourist attractions of the area, perfect to cool down from the heat. Another famous tourist destination is Mount Labi Peak.