uci gravel world championships
(Photo/TORWAISTUDIO via Shutterstock)

UCI Announces First Official Gravel Racing World Championships

The first-ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gravel World Championships will hit the dirt this October. The UCI also canceled one race and added several women’s events.

Cycling’s international governing body announced Thursday that Northeast Italy’s Veneto region would host the organization’s first Gravel World Championships on Oct. 8-9. Italy also landed the 2023 gravel worlds. Officials said the UCI would announce host cities later.

The announcement comes alongside notices that the UCI canceled the Gree-Tour of Guangxi, and RideLondon Classique is on thin ice after skimping on TV requirements. And the governing body added four stops to the women’s tour.

Re-Shuffled UCI Schedule Specifics

The Gravel World Championships follow UCI’s launch of its first Gravel World Series in March. The championships will conclude a 12-stop world series circuit, joining another Italian stop in Quattordio.

uci gravel world championships
Misurina, Province of Belluno, Veneto, Italy; (photo/Eric Huybrechts via Flickr)

The women’s and men’s Gree-Tour of Guangxi both fell to cancellation due to COVID-19 concerns. Thus, this year’s men’s UCI WorldTour will conclude on Oct. 8 with Il Lombardia (Italy), while the UCI Women’s WorldTour will end on Oct. 15, the last day of the Tour of Chongming Island (China).

At the 2021 RideLondon Classique, the UCI found race organizers did not provide the required live TV coverage of each stage of the women’s race, but only of the last stage.

The move violates UCI regulations and signals what the organization called “an unacceptable lack of respect” for riders and teams involved. Thus, the UCI will therefore require “firm commitments” that the organizers will adhere to the policy for the event to appear on the 2023 Women’s WorldTour schedule.

Race organizers had previously ended the men’s RideLondon Classique to focus on the women’s event. The UCI will make its final decision on the 2023 Classique at meetings in September; for now, officials shifted it to the ProSeries.

Finally, the Women’s WorldTour adds the Santos Tour Down Under (which had UCI ProSeries status in 2020 then did not run in 2021 due to COVID-19), the UAE Tour (a new event that joins the existing men’s race), the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (which moves from the ProSeries to the Women’s WorldTour) and the Tour de Suisse (also moving from the ProSeries to the Women’s WorldTour).

Learn more via the UCI’s complete statement, available online.

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.