Skip to main content

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.