UCI Gravel World Series (2023)

Yeah, even a gravel pro Nathan Haas who won The Rift pro race wasn’t in top 25 % there. Ivar Slik was registered to the Sweden race, but he crashed a couple of days before and missed the race. It would have been interesting to see how a big dude like him would race there. They are hard races, I fell asleep 4 AM the night after as my legs cramped all the time :joy:

For your age group based on your watts/weight qualification should not be an issue based on last years results. There were two guys in top5 in 35-39 and 40-44 groups that are both around 4.5w/kg and between 70-80kgs. They do have good skills and a lot of kilometres in their legs so endurance is there.

The under 35 group was really strong last year. This is clearly visible by finishing times in different groups and moukari’s feedback.

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Tempted by the Millau, France race… no chance of qualifying for worlds but it looks like a fun fast course

I signed up for the the one in Arkansas yesterday. I was surprised at the “cheap” entry fee. Thought the UCI would want their pound of flesh.

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That is coming once they get traction on the series.

Right now, there is a generous qualifying percentage and (at least in the US), still a low interest factor. My advice for anyone interested in doing the UCI Gravel Worlds is to try and do it now…as more people win the Gravel Rainbow jersey, the desire to go and do the race will only increase and the competition to qualify is gonna get stiffer and the percentage smaller at each race.

Back in the late 90’s / early 00’s, it was significantly easier to qualify for Kona than it was by the time 2010 rolled around, let alone now. I would expect a similar response for Gravel Worlds, but only on a faster pace.


I’m entered in the Gralloch because it’s a 2 hour drive from me and seems fun. I’ve got a loose eye on 25% which I can do when on good form at big busy events like the Dirty Reiver, but I’m genuinely unsure whether the Gralloch will attract enough leisure riders to fill out the ranks of those that are usually slower than me. It could well turn out that I’m the fodder this time! :joy:

It looks like fun either way and it’s relatively close and inexpensive, so I’m not getting too wound up about qualifying. Already had my sights on different ‘A’ events this year anyway.


I was shocked to see how few people did the one in the US last year. According to the overall results on their website, only 86 people raced. Only 59 finished.

That’s what I’m talking about. Only $80!

Any other gravel organizer would have charged $250 because of the $pirit of gravel and all that.


I was wondering about the Highlands race as well. Was it bad weather/heavy mud? Ave speeds seemed low. Or just a really tough course?

There were a lot of DNF for a relatively short race. Maybe rain. That time of the year, in Arkansas, it could have been the heat and humidity.

I’m fine with heat and humidity - I’m in Texas :grin: :grin:

Any advice on tyre choice for Gralloch? I’ll be riding my cx bike and weigh around 50kg. Will be travelling over from Northern Ireland. How rough is gravel? Used to forest tracks, rough singletrack and muddy bridleways here.


The gravel in the Galloway Forrest can be a mix of smooth to quite chunky gravel mostly forestry roads, I’ve done a bike packing trip there before.

I’m also racing I’ll probs go file tread as I don’t think there will be much mud to contend with.

Hope this helps and see you on the start line

Controversial question, I know, spirit of gravel and all that. But I didn’t find any particular requirements regarding bike choice. Is there any limitations on what type of (non-motorized) bike you can ride?
Specifically, I am asking about aero extensions…

Thanks @Stephen_Mac_Donald

Have you ridden any of the gravel elsewhere in Scotland or somewhere like Kielder to compare?

Galloway forest (The Raiders Gravel, same start location and same organisers but a 3-day stage race) is the only event I’ve ever ridden where I wished I had more volume and puncture protection than the tyres I normally use everywhere else. It’s just a bit chunkier than most of the other forestry tracks I’m used to and meant I dealt with punctures when I don’t normally have a problem.

Caveat is that when I did the Raiders I was 3kg heavier than normal, and because it was ~3hr stages rather than all-day epics there were a lot more groups forming on the course, so more unseen obstacles when following other wheels. The particular pair of tyres I was riding had a lot more miles on them than what I’d bring to an A race as well.

I normally use a 40c Continental Terra Speed with tubolight inserts (70kg rider). For Gralloch and Raiders this year I will probably run 42c Specialized Pathfinder Pros. They’re a bit slower, but provide just a bit extra volume and are a bit tougher.

I actually had my pathfinders with me on a spare set of wheels at the Raiders but for some stupid reason never decided to use them. I did end up loaning (and then selling) them to another rider there who had destroyed his tyres and wasn’t going to be able to start the third stage. He was one of the top 5 finishers at the Dirty Reiver last year and also managed to qualify for the world champs at a race in France, so he definitely knew what he was doing and normally makes good kit choices. The pathfinders didn’t give him any problems.

I’d guess the forestry roads in NI are built to the same standards as those in Scotland or Northumberland, so I’d just say for the Gralloch you should anticipate something slightly on the chunkier end of ‘normal,’ but it’s definitely within the realm of normal.
No major issues with mud, so tread pattern doesn’t matter so much.

Hope that helps!

Any kinds of aero extensions are banned, you can’t do “puppy paws” or supertuck either as it’s a UCI race.

I now found it on the UCI Gravel Series page (Regulations – UCI Gravel World Series)
Riders may use any type of bike (road bike, mountain bike, city bike, hybrid bike, cross bike, etc.) with the exception of tandem or recumbent bikes. time trial road bikes are also forbidden. During the UCI Gravel World Championships, all bikes should have dropped handlebars. It’s not possible to participate in the UCI Gravel World Championships with a mountain bike.

So there is more leeway on the World Series than on the Finale Championships.
What constitutes a “time trial road bike”?
A Shiv TT or a Hard Tail with clip on extensions?

Interesting question, I wonder if you could run a drop bar full suspension bike or a TT bike with drop bars and 32 mm tires. In Sweden I saw one guy with old steel mtb rim brake frame converted to a disc brake gravel bike, that looked sick and he had very strong legs too.

There are actually other UCI rules for gravel - from https://www.uci.org/regulations/3MyLDDrwJCJJ0BGGOFzOat#part-xv-cycling-for-all

Material and Equipment
15.3.005 Any style of bike shall be permitted. E-bikes are not allowed.
Handlebars can be of any shape but must be of a one-piece construction with no barends or clip-on extensions allowed (triathlon handlebars and any other handlebars extension system are forbidden).

But there are other bits that seem to be slightly at odds with the rules from the gravel world series site!