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The UCI has been talking about its Gravel World Series of races that act as qualifiers for the still-to-be-announced UCI gravel world championships, and recently the website Gran Fondo Daily News published a leaked 14-race calendar.
The calendar from April to September includes events like Yuzzu Houffa Gravel in Belgium, Wish One Gravel in France, and Ranxo in Spain. Two American races are listed: Highlands Gravel, June 25 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Jingle GX Gravel Race in Iowa on September 24. (Jingle Cross has been a mainstay on the American cyclocross circuit for years.)
The first race of the calendar, Gravel Filippine Bongabon, in the Philippines, received some local press on the site WhenInManila.com. The site quotes Bongabon mayor Allan Xystus A. Gamilla about the event, which includes 62km and 85km courses.
Trek is listed as the title sponsor for the UCI Gravel World Series. VeloNews contacted Trek to confirm and ask for details but did not immediately receive a response. Similarly, the UCI and overarching series promoter Golazo Sports have declined to provide any specific information on the series.
Golazo gravel manager Erwin Vervecken is orchestrating the series. For the last 11 years, the three-time cyclocross world champ has coordinated the UCI Gran Fondo World Series, and he relied on many of the same relationships to help put together the inaugural gravel series.
Riders can qualify for the UCI gravel worlds by finishing in the top 25 percent of their age category at any of the events in the Gravel World Series. Age categories begin with a large 19-34-year-old field and then carry on in increments of five years — 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, and so on.
The location and date of the UCI gravel worlds has yet to be announced — or leaked.
CycloWorld.cc published the same 14 events as Gran Fondo Daily News, but with more details including the length of the courses.
That calendar is as follows. Again, this has not been confirmed by the UCI, Trek, or Golazo.
April 3, UCI Gravel Philippines / 85km, 62km / Nueva Ecija, Philippines
June 5, Gravel Wish One / 130km, 80km / Saint-Geniez-d-Olt, France
June 18, Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo / 102km, 63km / Thornbury, Canada
June 18, Gravel Adventure / 100km, 67km / Swieradów-Zdrój, Poland
June 25, Highlands Gravel Classic / 113km, 84km / Fayetteville, Arkansas
August 6, Jingle GX Gravel Race / 111km / Amana, Iowa
August 7, Gravel Ensenada / 144km, 84km / Ensenada, Mexico
August 20, Gravel Grit n Grind /124km, 92km / Halmstad, Sweden
August 28, Yuzzu Houffa Gravel / 95km, 70km, 45km / Houffalize, Belgium
September 3, La Monsterrato – Strade Bianche / 150km, 113km / Quattordio, Italy
September 4, Gravelista /115km, 75km / Beechworth, Australia
September 17, Kettle Mettle / 135km, 100km, 50km / Penticton, Canada
September 17, Gravel One Fifty / 145km, 75km / Veenhuizen, Netherlands
September 18, Ranxo / 148km / Ponts, Spain