Is the Rift Gravel Race the most spectacular off-road events in Europe? - Gallery

Last weekend saw some of the best gravel racers in the world descend on Iceland for the Rift Gravel Race - one of the most unique and stunning off-road events on the planet. 

The 200km event, held last in 2019 after a brief hiatus due to COVID19 restrictions, didn't disappoint in its return, with Holly Mathews winning the women's test and Peter Stetina claiming the men's crown. 

The conditions for the event were far from perfect, with rain and winds driving into the athletes for most of the day, while the wet conditions also slowed down competitors as it effected the texture and nature of the ground's surface. 

Despite that, the Rift Gravel Race provided some of the most breathtaking scenes and landscapes of any gravel on the planet. Riders were able to race through rich greenery before taking on the beautiful desolation of the dark lava fields in the highlands of Iceland as the course circumnavigates one of the most active volcanos on the island, Hekla. 

There were water crossings, spectacular views of glaciers and volcanos, and non-stop climbing action to test the riders' mettle and mental fortitude before reaching a finishing village packed full of local beers and festivities. 

The organisers kindly sent through this epic gallery that you can scroll through, and if you're tempted, registrations for 2022 open in the coming months.

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