Organisers of the Highlands Gravel Basic in Arkansas have introduced the occasion, June 24, 2023, will return as a part of the second version of the UCI Gravel World Sequence. The Arkansas off-road race shall be one in every of two North American qualifiers for the UCI Gravel World Championship.
In 2022, the Highlands Gravel Basic turned out to be the one North American occasion within the international 11-race sequence, as Jingle GX Gravel in Iowa was cancelled one month previous to its deliberate date in August. This time round, Highlands Gravel shall be preceded one week by Blue Mountains Gravel, a brand new off-road gran fondo in Thornbury, Ontario.
A full schedule for the UCI Gravel World Sequence is anticipated to be introduced later this month. The highest 25% of finishers from every occasion in varied males’s and ladies’s age teams qualify for the season-ending world championships.
Registration opened at this time for the Highlands Gravel Basic, with a shorter course possibility obtainable at 52.4 miles, which serves as a qualifier for girls’s 50 and over age classes and males’s 60 and over age classes.
“The 2023 Highlands Gravel Basic is getting an early begin when it comes to advertising and marketing and registration being opened to make sure that each gravel bike owner within the U.S. can get this occasion on their calendar to take their shot at qualifying for the World Championship race in Italy,” mentioned Bruce Dunn, race director and CEO of All Sports activities Productions, the occasion organizer.
Andrew Evans gained the inaugural 66-mile Highlands Gravel Basic for elite males whereas Lenny Ramsey gained the ladies’s division. The occasion will return on the ultimate weekend in June subsequent yr regardless of excessive humidity and sweltering temperatures that had been partly blamed for low turnout, simply 111 complete members.
The course obtained excessive marks, nevertheless, with 95% gravel floor that twisted by the Boston Mountain vary of the Ozarks in north-east Arkansas. Race organisers count on the course to proceed with the identical quantity of off-road surfaces and will alter the route from the Fritchie Farms begin space to get rid of some elevation acquire.
Italy will return because the host for the 2023 Gravel World Championships in 2023 and Belgium was chosen because the host in 2024.
On the inaugural championships, a complete of 560 riders from 39 nations competed throughout 19 completely different classes on the strade bianche of Veneto on the first UCI Gravel World Championships. Rivals lined a flat, quick city loop course from Vicenza to Cittadella, with France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot successful the elite girls’s rainbow jersey and Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch taking out the lads’s elite title.