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Gravel

The Gravel Earth Series to make a global debut in 2023

Girona-based promoter Klassmark will oversee the series, which will unify 6-8 international gravel races under one umbrella.

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Like to travel? Enjoy riding gravel? Need an ambitious goal for the summer riding season?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then read on.

In 2023, Girona-based event promotor Klassmark is organizing Gravel Earth, a new concept with global reach. Gravel Earth will unify 6-8 gravel events around the world and culminate with the ‘Earth Final’ championship-style race at the end of the season.

Currently, the series begins in late April with the Traka, Klassmark’s own endurance gravel event in Spain, and will end with the Earth Final, an event that Klassmark will also organize in October or November. The events in between are organized by different promoters across the globe.

According to Klassmark co-owner Cristina Freixes, the impetus for Gravel Earth was a combination of watching various organizers — like Life Time and the UCI — organize off-road series in 2022, as well as a desire to expose people to some of the more off-the-beaten track events across the globe.

“What we wanted is to choose different kinds of styles of races but all in amazing places,” she said. “To provide more an experience than a competition.”

Nevertheless, there is a competitive structure baked into the series.

Points will be awarded to the top male, female, and non-binary finishers at each event. Each event will be weighted differently, depending on its “difficulty and prestige.”

The overall series rankings will be determined by totaling a rider’s top two scores, as well as the results of the Earth Final, which will be weighted more heavily than the other series events.

According to Freixes, the Klassmark team consulted with athletes like Lachlan Morton and Nathan Haas to come up with the points system (more on the structure here). By weighting each event uniquely, the objective was to give riders a chance to race to their strengths, and hedge their bets by choosing the most appropriate events.

Good at stage racing? Winning the Migration Gravel Race in Kenya will get you 12,000 points. Live in the Nordics? Earn 9,000 at both The Rift and the Nordic Gravel Series event in Sweden.

“This classification format rewards the most regular and versatile bikers of the year,” Freixes said.

The Gravel Earth Series prioritizes events with a firm commitment to their local community, as well as sustainability.

2023 Gravel Earth Series qualifying events

The Traka – Spain

When: April 29-30

Format: three single stage options

Distance/Elevation: 100k/1,000m, 200k/2,000m, 360k/4,500m

Migration Gravel Race – Kenya

When: June 20-23

Format: stage race (4)

Distance/Elevation: 650k/8,000m

Nature is Bike – France

When: June 26

Format: single stage

Distance/Elevation: 300k/2,640m

Octopus Gravel – Switzerland

When: July 1

Format: timed segments

Distance/Elevation: 155k/4,450m

The Rift – Iceland

When: July 23

Format: single stage

Distance/Elevation: 200k/2,165m; 100k/1,050m

Nordic Gravel Series: Bergslagen – Sweden

When: August 12

Format: single stage

Distance/Elevation: 180k; 116k (elevation TBD)