The first TREK UCI Gravel World Series event of the season in Berja, Almeria has been easily won by former road World Champion Alejandro Valverde who already got away quickly in the first uphill to finally win with more than 4 and a half minutes to Ismael Esteban Aguero and Cameron Mason (GBR), both cyclocross pro riders. Valverde who retired from road racing last season is still racing gravel for his Movistar Gravel team.
Carolin Schiff (GER) was the first female beating Jade Treffeisen (GER) and Hayley Simmonds (GBR). Schiff was 14 minutes faster than her compatriot while Simmonds finished at more than 21 minutes.
The race with start and finish in Berja in the province of Almeria was a real mountain stage up the Sierra Nevada mountain range with a 25km climb right after the start which then went further up but less steep to an altitude of 2100m halfway the 95km course. The second half of the race was back in downhill.
In the shorter mediofondo, counting as qualifier distance for men over 60 and women over 50, Henrik Cohen (DEN) was the fastest male before Georges Reverdy (FRA) and Ashley Holding (GBR).
Sonia Ortega Mora was the fastest female in that distance!