UCI Gravel World Series (2023)

So this will make them very happy?

@alexfthenakis, thanks for all the useful info. I haven’t ridden anywhere outside Ireland. I have ridden 2 very good events here that you may have heard of- Lakelander bigdog and Galway gravel grinder Epic. These both had a lot more chunky gravel than the typical forest trails here. I rode my cx bike with cx 33 tyres at both with no issues. Lots of people getting punctures but I think some of that is down to good line choice if you can see the path ahead. Will look into the pathfinder. Think 38 may be my max but thinking I may be ok given my weight. Don’t really want to be riding a very heavy tyre if I don’t need to.
Bike packing the An Turas Mor later in the year but that’s a totally different adventure. Different tyre choice again for that :grinning:

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I qualified and raced in the World Championship in Vicenza last year. It was an absolutely awesome experience!


I did the Seven UCI race last year in Nannup Western Australia, missed qualifying and working hard to qualify this year with the plan to get to the championship in Italy.

Seven is an amazing race, 125km, 3400m of elevation, pretty much all gravel. They put together a fun little video from last year which was a battle between Haas and Blazevic. Good sense of the terrain.


Yeah, I saw that before. Looks great. Pretty much the other end of the world however, so unlikely to participate there ever :sweat_smile:
The European races look relatively tame in comparison.

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It’s actually reasonable. Compared to $290 for Unbound 200. Come on.

Yeah, that was expected…

I raced 4 of these races in Europe last year. Houffalize in Belgium, Veenhuizen in Netherlands, Millau in France and the one in Halmstad, Sweden.
Extension/aero bars are not allowed as mentioned above. I did see quite a few MTBs in some of these races.
Quick summary of the courses if anyone are considering racing them:

Millau - Very climby race. 2500m of altitude gain in 130km (the kamoot courses that the organizers send out massively underreports the altitude gain in all of these races).
The climbs are mostly all on asphalt. There are also some nice technical sections. There were a lot of punctures in this race from what I saw.

Sweden - fast race. Some short climbs. I averaged well over 35km/h. 1500 altitude gain over 120k. Most of the gravel roads are very hard packed and fast. Some dirt sections were a bit rougher but not like Millau. Didn’t see many punctures. Really only one downhill that was a bit technical with some rocks.

Houffalize - Up and down all day. Short, steep climbs. 2000+ altitude gain in 110km. Very technical descents. Saw a bunch of punctures. I think a MTB could actually be a decent option in this race.

Veenhuizen - Finally a flat race. Last year it was rain and very muddy. I swallowed so much cowshit. Some sections that was barely rideable in the mud. However I think in dry weather this would be a very fast course.

Enjoyed all of them :slight_smile:


Great report, thanks!

That’s blisteringly fast :flushed:

Uh, what?

MTBs are allowed in the qualifiers but not in the finals.


This is from the world championships race guide last year:

Does the forearms on bars ‘puppy paws’ ban extend to gravel racing? I just pre-rode The Gralloch course and the last ~5 miles is a descent on tarmac road. A lot of it is gentle enough to be pretty pedally and since gravel tyres on paved road are so stable that TT position could be really useful for this event…

No….the “puppy paws” an is for UCI Road events only. You can use that position if you wish in gravel races.

Well, I guess I should say “non- UCI gravel races” now. :woozy_face:

You can also use actual aero bars in some gravel races….it is up to the promoter to decide if they will be allowed. Check with them before the race.

Anyone doing the Highlands Gravel Classic in June? I’m 60+ so looking at the 56 mile Farmlands course, but the route file shows it as only 44 miles. No response from the organizer. Anybody have any info? Am I missing something?

I can’t speak to the distance of the event, but I just spent two days in NW Arkansas and the riding is simply spectacular. Not the first time I have ridden there, but just amazes me every time how awesome it is.

As for the question at hand, I would probably trust the GPX file vs. what was used in promotional postings, etc. But that is just a guess…hopefully the organizer responds to your request.

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Yes it does. Dial in your forearm position and angle on the hoods and you will be as fast with the puppy paws.

Never mind. If anyone else is curious, I took a close look at the Komoot route and it has straight lines between the turns rather than actually following the roads. The GPX file tracks the roads fairly closely and is more like 52.

Well the Seven UCI qualifying race happened again this year. Great race in some challenging conditions. The organisers will host the gravel world champs in 2026, while it’s at the end other earth for many there are now direct flights between Europe and Perth.

I am probably signing up and the speeds/times seem really low. Anybody ride here before? Seems like super nice gravel too.

With 3 water stops you probably can get away with just bottles and no hdryo pack.

Even my (conservative) Best Bike Split sims don’t seem to indicate anything crazy like I see in the results. There are some tough climbs at mile 15/28/51, but with the pacing I get from BBS, I don’t see any huge red flags as long as I stick to my pacing.