Following the end of the Management Committee meeting at the UCI Road World Championships in Belgium, the UCI announced an officially sanctioned gravel series and world championships. The decision brings the international federation’s events to a tenth discipline.
The federation has teamed up with Golazo, a Belgian event organizer, to establish a UCI Gravel World Series of mass-participation races that will qualify for the new UCI Gravel World Championships.
Golazo organizes the Gran Fondo World Series and World Championships as part of the UCI Cycling For All program.
The Eroica rides in Tuscany have volunteered to host the first-ever gravel world championships. Still, the event is more likely to cycle hosted in the United States, where gravel races have grown in popularity in recent years.
The regulations regulating gravel races and which events will be included in the series have yet to be disclosed.
The Gravel Worlds, which took place in August and included 300-mile, 150-mile, 75-mile, and 50-kilometer events, is already a thing in Nebraska. This year’s 150-mile champions were Lauren de Crescenzo and John Borstelmann.
Gravel joins the roster of sanctioned disciplines, including road, mountain bike, track, cyclo-cross, BMX, BMX freestyle, trials, indoor cycling, and e-sport.
At Arkansas’s 2022 Cyclo-cross World Championships, the federation also announced a new ranking for MTB short track and a test event for a cyclo-cross team relay.
For the 2022-2023 winter season, the UCI is also “exploring new options” to establish a Snow Bike World Cup and World Championships, addressed at the next Management Committee meeting.
“Cycling continues to innovate, this time in off-road with the creation of an exciting new ranking for mountain bike cross-country short track, the recognition of gravel – a new and rapidly expanding discipline – the launch of a new team format in cyclo-cross, and the exploration of new avenues for the development of snow bike,” said UCI President David Lappartient.