The Monuments of Gravel are the five most prestigious gravel races to win. According to who, you ask? Well, you, in part.
We started our Monuments of Gravel project this year to identify the top events for racing. We did so initially by polling the top gravel racers for their votes, which revealed four clear outliers: Dirty Kanza was the unanimous choice, followed closely by The Mid South, Belgian Waffle Ride, and SBT GRVL. The fifth race was basically a tie between Crusher in the Tushar and Rebecca’s Private Idaho. So we put the vote to you, our readers.
While both races received great support from readers, Rebecca’s Private Idaho landed the most votes and so will be our fifth Monument of Gravel.
What does that mean? Mostly that you can look forward to a lot of gravel coverage in and around Rebecca’s Private Idaho and the rest of the Monuments of Gravel. One of the things we love about gravel is that it’s both a participatory event, and an elite competition. At The Mid South, for instance, we enjoyed covering the race — and racing it — too.
In Europe, many of the top pro races offers sportives that amateurs can do. This is true for all five of the Monuments: Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, Milano-Sanremo, Il Lombardia, and Liége-Bastogne-Liége. But these sportives are always held on a different day than the pro event. In gravel, as in a running marathon, there is a single event, with the world’s best and the newbies and everyone in between on course at the same time.
This year, the tidal wave of the coronavirus has upended the world, with gravel racing being but one tiny boat of the many getting bucked around in the sea of cancelations and postponements. The Mid South happened March 12. Belgian Waffle Ride and Dirty Kanza, initially scheduled for May 3 and May 30, have now been rescheduled to November 8 and September 12, respectively.
Rebecca’s Private Idaho includes four events over varying distances. There is a 3-day stage race on September 3-6, plus three one-day distance options on September 6: the 100-mile Baked Potato, the 56-mile French Fry, and the 20-mile Tater Tot. Unlike the other Monuments of Gravel events, which are sold out, there are still spots available for Rebecca’s Private Idaho. With so much uncertainty about the future, Rebecca’s Private Idaho has an open policy for registration. “Basically we’ve told riders, do whatever works for you and we’ll make it work for us,” Rusch said. “You can defer, you can cancel, you can donate your entry to the Be Good Foundation in support of our cycling beneficiary programs and their COVID-19 initiatives.”
2020 VeloNews Monuments of Gravel
Stillwater, Oklahoma | March 12
Steamboat Springs, Colorado | August 16
Sun Valley, Idaho | September 6
Emporia, Kansas | originally May 30, now September 12
San Diego, California | originally May 3, now November 8