Gravel Fondo Limburg
Distances80 - 150 km
Gravel Fondo Limburg is a gravel race within the UCI Gravel World Series that was organised for the first time in 2023 and quickly sold out. It’s held in the most beautiful cycling area of the Netherlands: South Limburg. Characterized by cycling history, rolling hills, lose soil and beautiful unpaved roads.
Home of Cycling: Shimano Experience Centre
The Shimano Experience Centre: originated from our mission ‘Closer to Nature, Closer to People’. A beautiful and unique location where people and nature are central. It is a place where we want everyone to meet with cycling and fishing. Whether you are a starting or advanced cyclist or fisherman, want to know more about materials, need a new outfit or want to drink a cup of coffee in our coffee corner… everything is possible.
The course starts from the Shimano Experience center in the center of Valkenburg for a tough and challenging climb up the famous Cauberg who is done on the road towards the local lap.
The local lap is a 34km course which needs to be done two times for all men over 60 and women over 50 or 3 times for all younger age groups as official qualifier distance for the UCI Gravel World Championships.
The course is a mixture of Gravel sections with shorter paved sections in the middle of the beautiful Limburg landscape.
After the 2 or 3 laps, a 6km finish loop brings riders back to the center of Valkenburg where the finish is again at the Shimano Experience center.
The total distance of the full course is either 79 km or 113km.
79km (qualifier distance men 60+ and women 50+)
113km (qualifier distance men 19-59 and women 19-49)
The start loop is up the famous Cauberg where riders turn left on top towards the local loop.
The local loop which needs to be done twice or three times has an elevation of 330m with a first climb, the Schinderweg, coming after 12km but especially the famous Keutenberg, the steepest climb of the Amstel Gold race which must be done on the road every lap is killing the legs. At the foot of the Keutenberg, riders need to make a U-turn just before the steepest part in the beginning of the climb.
After 2 or 3 laps, a 6km finish loop gets riders back to the finish. The total elevation of the race is respectively 790 and 1120 meters.
Valkenburg is a city in the south of the Netherlands, usually buzzing with visitors. It has been a major domestic tourist destination for decades and packed with hotels, bars and restaurants. The crowds that gather here in summer partly come for the town’s interesting historic sights but also for the general atmosphere and facilities. Christmas is the second high season here, with plenty of decorations up from the start of November and famous Christmas markets in December. In many ways, Valkenburg as a town seems to encourage visitors to just have a good time.
Amongst cyclists, Valkenburg is famous for the yearly Amstel Gold Race, but has also hosted many UCI World Championships. The 1948 UCI road World Championships took place in the city with Belgian Briek Schotte as winner and a second edition of that race took place in 1998. Swiss Oscar Camenzind proved to be the best that day winning the rainbow jersey. Also the UCI Cyclocross World Championships have been held on top of the Cauberg with Wout van Aert and Sanne Cant as elite winners.
Beating heart of the hill region
Hidden between the moss-green hills, in the heart of the Heuvelland protected nature reserve, the center of the marl town sparkles, with its rich tourist tradition: a major attraction for more than 135 years. Around the impressive castle ruins and above the ancient corridors lies the charming, medieval city center full of terraces and shops. Surrounded by a 5-star landscape, peace and nature are never far away.
There is always something to do!
Valkenburg is bursting with events. The season kicks off early in the year with carnival, after which art, music, cycling and hiking events follow one another, with the Bokkemért annual market in October and the international attraction of Christmas Town Valkenburg as a festive conclusion.