In an interview with Velonews, Erwin Vervecken (Golazo) comes up with a scoop: the Gravel World Series are coming to the Netherlands. Also, more is finally known about the races themselves.
The UCI is stepping into the gravel world and is coming up with a series of gravel races around the world. The coordination of this is in the hands of Erwin Vervecken / Golazo. The execution is outsourced to various, experienced organizers. In most cases, these are existing, smaller competitions with 500-1500 participants. But there will also be about 3 new ones between them.
The preliminary calendar, which will be presented in early February, has 15-20 events. It is already clear that it will include events all over the world. Confirmed: Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe and Asia. As with the UCI Gran Fondo World Cup, the best 25% qualify for a concluding World Gravel Championship.
These are gran fondos, i.e. open races with time registration in which anyone may participate. The series are basically aimed at the amateur cyclist, but pros and elites are just as welcome. Age categories apply.
All except e-bikes, tandems and TT bikes. The bikes must weigh at least 6.8 kg, otherwise there are no requirements. In some races we will probably see MTBs, CX bikes and gravel races mixed together.
They will be true gravel courses: at least 75% gravel, mostly wide, unpaved roads. No single tracks or technical descents. There will often be height differences, but there is one exception: the Netherlands. Vervecken thus confirms that a gravel race will also be organized in NL. Which location this will be is not yet clear, but according to Wielerflits both Limburg and Drenthe are interested.