UCI Gravel World Series (2023)

Gravel and UCI, lovely topic.
What’s really cool in this case however is that this is an open racing series for amateurs all around the world, that allow for a fun experience and in case you are really fast, to qualify for the World Championships.
Here is the full calendar:
https://ucigravelworldseries.com/en/calendar/
I am really fortunate to have 5 of the races within 5 hours of driving, and I am planning to participate in at least 3 of them (Limburg, Aachen, Poland).
I’d love to hear from other people who plan to participate and those who have participated.

I am looking forward to chatting about training, gear choice, fueling, preparation, race strategy etc.

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Might hit the one in Arkansas. It’s about 5-ish hours drive. Arkansas in late June is gonna be warm and humid.

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My mate is doing the Gralloch (Gatehouse of Fleet) event I’ve not got the skill :joy: Good luck :+1:

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Signed up for the one in Arkansas. Will see what happens…

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It’s a little confusing to find detailed information on the individual races. Each of them will have GPX files released on time for the event, but some (for example Aachen and Denmark) have already released the Komoot details on the course. Others (Poland, Limburg) have only released the profile of the stages, so you can’t really tell in advance what the course will be like exactly.
That’s because each event is merely licensed by the UCi Gravel World Series, but are organized independently and therefore do things their way.

Also courses are different in style. Germany and Limburg are loops of the same course, while Denmark and Poland are one large loop, without repetition of the same course.

I am frequently in Aachen (where the German event takes place, and literally 15 minutes from the Limburg event) so I am planning to recon ride both courses and give a little appraisal here.
At the Gravel World Champs, plenty of people were on Road bikes with knobby tires because the gravel was so tame. If the gravel is basically hard pack and fire roads, I might do something similar.

Was there one in the US last year? Did our “pros” do it? I don’t remember seeing any buzz about it, if it occurred.

Which distance?

You can’t really choose distance, as your age determines the distance you have to ride, correct?

You are right. I misread it.

This isn’t pure gravel! These prices are 1/4th of the holy spirit of gravel races in the US!

:rofl:

I haven’t heard anything about your age determining the distance (for US at least). I signed up for the long one (75 I think), and I’ll be 56. I wasn’t flagged as being “too old to ride this race” :rofl:

So for the US race in Arkansas this June (the Highlands Classic), the men’s 19-59 and women’s 19-49 will race the 66mi, men 60+ and women 50+ will race 52mi

I was in UCI race in Sweden last year, it was a proper hard race with lots of punchy hills and rough stuff. Got a bad start there, but picked a lot of positions during the race. It was very tough though after dropping a bottle after first hour :laughing: Then I was at the World champs in Italy too. I liked the course a lot even though the gravel wasn’t so rough, but I’ve understood they will change it a bit for this year. Compared to for example The Rift in Iceland I liked the UCI races a lot, maybe it’s not same as in the the larger events but there was a good racing spirit after all. And I rather will pay 50 euros for registration than 200-250 euros!

In May I will go to Denmark to try to qualify to Worlds again, the course will suit me well because it will be flat there. and I’m a big dude. I have done a gravel race in Denmark last year so I know how the conditions could be there. Now I have just done a lot of mountain biking to prepare myself for the technical bits of the race.

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Congrats on your great result!
Some more details on your performance and result in Sweden would be very interesting, considering you managed you qualify.
I‘d really like to eyeball if there is a chance for me to qualify, or if I’m miles off.

I’m planning to go to Denmark and try to qualify for the worlds… how hard is to qualify?

Top 25% per age group is the requirement.

Thanks! I qualified with a wild card from my federation to M19-34 because of my other results last year in gravel racing. In Sweden I was quite close to direct qualifying, the time difference to a place for direct qualify came from the start because I hadn’t confidence yet to go elbows out from the gun. I have very little experience of racing in general coming from other sports to cycling. A couple of concussions have made me a bit too careful at times too… It was a bit crazy to go over 70 kph downhill on a gravel road. I race for fun and it is the most important thing to come home in one piece as my wife and kids are waiting at home.

But I got back most of the time lost about 10 minutes into the race for doing exactly 400 watts for 10 minutes in the long hilly section chasing every rider I could. I was at my max heart rate on the top of the hill and then I proceeded with chasing a other pack of riders with a other guy. I had 320 watts normalized power for three and half hours, total about 3 500 kJ work. Total 42 minutes at Z5 power or more. Because of the hills it was like riding almost all of the time with my weight at my maximum aerobic power. TSS was 310 according to intervals.icu. FTP was then at about 390 watts at 83-84 kg body weight.

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I’m expecting to be about 5w/kg at 68kg and I’ll be 35 yrs this year…
Maybe to pick some hillyer Europe race

Great effort. That just frightens me :joy:.
You are clearly strong AF, and the fact you didn’t qualify from the race directly, tells me top 25% is really reaching. Aachen and Limburg are relatively hilly, but not as much as Sweden, so my relatively light weight will not play a huge role.
Definitely gonna be brutal.:hot_face:

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Poland, Britain, Spain