UCI Gravel World Series underway with four races completed
13 races remain for riders hoping to qualify for October's UCI Gravel World Championship.
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The 2023 UCI Gravel World Series is underway, with four events already contested in Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Registration numbers are up from 2022, with amateur and elite riders vying for a spot at October’s UCI Gravel World Championship, which will again be held in Veneto, Italy.
Read more: UCI Gravel World Series 2023 calendar
The series kicked off in the Almeria region of Spain with La Idomable, a 97 kilometer route with 2073 meters of climbing. The race attracted some 650 riders, with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and German rider Carolin Schiff taking top honors and qualifying for worlds.
The Swartberg 100 was next, the first ever African event in the series. The route contained a mix of long paved and unpaved sections for an extended 170km race up the scenic Swartberg Pass, 1583m high with pitches of 16 percent towards the top.
Both races ended with South African champions; Gustav Basson won in a sprint while Catherine Colyn won solo.
The first edition of Gravel Fondo Limburg sold out in February and saw many pro riders at the start.
Over 1,000 riders took part in the race, which was a 34km circuit in the Amstel Gold region of the Netherlands.
Cyclocross rider Timo Kielich got away from a 13-man break with a final move on the famous Keutenberg to win one minute ahead of his competitors. Granfondo World Champion Martha Maltha took the overall female win.
Rain showers during the night created muddy conditions and technical corners in the inaugural Gravel Challenge Blaavands Huk on the westernmost point of Denmark. It was a flat and fast race with sections on the beach in windy conditions.
Kasper Asgreen led but was forced to abandon due to mechanicals. The race ended with a sprint between three Danish riders with Tobias Kongstad outsprinting Frederik Muff and Jacob Hingdsgaul.
Dutch rider Tessa Neefjes won the female race by more than 30 minutes, while Danish riders Klara Sofie Skovgard Hansen and Noa Jansen finished second and third.
May 13: 3RIDES Gravel Race
May 13: Seven
May 20: The Gralloch
Dumfries and Galloway, Great Britain
June 4: Ranxo
June 11: Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo
June 18: Wish One Gravel Race
June 24: Highlands Gravel Classic
Fayetteville, United States
July 15: Gravel One Fifty
July 22: Gravel Adventure
August 19: Gravel Grit n Grind
August 26: Houffa Gravel
September 2: La Monsterrato
October 28: Gravelista