The European Cycling Conferation UEC was founded in 1990 under the wings of the UCI. In 2019, the UEC organized the first European Championship for amateurs (UEC Gran Fondo European Championships). This year, for the first time, the gravel European Championships will be organized. This event will also function as a Belgian Championships. More on that below.
The start and finish is in Oud-Heverlee, Belgium. This municipality is located just south of Leuven and just east of Brussels. Never before has this municipality hosted a cycling race of this magnitude. The EC/BC is a dress rehearsal for the 2024 World Gravel Championship, which will also be held in this municipality. Golazo is responsible for the organization. The course will consist of a local lap of about 30 km (which will be ridden several times) and a larger loop of 40 km.
This is a somewhat complex. In fact, the European Gravel Championship will also function as the Belgian gravel Championships. In addition, the event is also a qualifier for the 2023 World Gravel Championship. Thus, gran fondo riders are also welcome. For the EC, the UCI categories (elite men, elite women and the age categories masters UCI) will be used.
Tom Van Damme, president of the Belgian Cycling Federation is obviously delighted:
"As a new discipline, Gravel has become a cycling discipline in its own right, in a short space of time as both a high-level sport and recreational activity. There is no doubt that Gravel brings a new momentum to cycling and thanks to Gianni Vermeersch, Belgium will crown the first World Champion in the discipline, which is even more motivating for us in charge of the organisation of a European Championships."