The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and its partner Golazo have announced the 2022 calendar of the new mass-participation UCI Gravel World Series. The Trek UCI Gravel World Series will give participants a chance to qualify for the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships to be held in the European autumn. The date and venue of the first UCI Gravel World Championships will be announced shortly.
Originating in the US Midwest some 15 years ago, gravel has grown in popularity and is now booming worldwide. Popular with riders seeking new challenges, it combines elements of road and mountain bike, and takes place mainly on unsealed roads (gravel, forest tracks, farm roads, cobbles, etc).
American bicycle brand Trek Bikes is the title sponsor of the series for 2022 until 2024, associating its name with this new initiative that responds to the ever-growing popularity of gravel.
The concept of the new gravel series is based on that of the existing and very successful UCI Gran Fondo World Series where riders can also earn their spot for an annual UCI World Championships. At each round of the new UCI Gravel World Series, the fastest 25% of men and women from each age group will qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships which will crown the UCI World Champions for each age group. The only difference with the concept for Gran Fondo is that professional riders may also take part in events of the series and qualify for the discipline’s UCI World Championships.
The 2022 UCI Gravel World Series calendar will kick off on 3 April with an 85km event in the Philippines. The 12-event series will continue with two races each in the USA and Australia and one event in France, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
The UCI has chosen not to make the regulations too strict in the first years, allowing participants to compete on any type of bike without electrical assistance (gravel, cyclo-cross, road, mountain bike). This will be evaluated in the upcoming years.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “I am thrilled that we now have an exciting and rich calendar of gravel events for riders with an adventurous spirit who enjoy cycling on unsealed roads and paths. The best among them will earn the right to compete in the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships, the details of which will be released soon. The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is incredibly popular, and I am convinced that this concept will be equally successful for the gravel format.”
2022 Trek UCI Gravel World Series calendar
3 Apr 2022: UCI Gravel Philippines, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija (PHI)
15 May 2022: Seven, Nannup (AUS)
5 Jun 2022: Wish One Gravel Race, Millau (FRA)
18 Jun 2022: Gravel Adventure, Swieradow-Zdroj (POL)
25 Jun 2022: Highlands Gravel Classic, Fayetteville (USA)
6 Aug 2022: Jingle GX Gravel Race, Amana (USA)
20 Aug 2022: Gravel Grit n Grind, Halmstad (SWE)
27 Aug 2022: Houffa Gravel, Houffalize (BEL)
3 Sep 2022: La Monsterrato-Strade Bianche Monferrato, Quattordio (ITA)
4 Sep 2022: Gravelista, Beechworth (AUS)
17 Sep 2022: Gravel One Fifty, Veenhuizen (NED)
18 Sep 2022: Ranxo, Ponts (ESP)