Belgium reveals 2024 Gravel World Championship course

UCI Gravel World Championships 2022 in the Veneto region of Italy
UCI Gravel World Championships 2022 in the Veneto region of Italy (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After playing a central role in the 2021 Road World Championships, Leuven will award another rainbow jersey in 2024, this time to the best gravel riders.

The first UCI Gravel World Championships were held in October in Italy, from Vicenza to Cittadella, with France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot winning the elite women’s rainbow jersey and Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch taking out the men’s elite title. 

The World Championships will again be held in Italy in 2023, before moving to Belgium in 2024, with organisers announcing this week the the event in Flanders will start in Halle and work its way through to a Leuven finale.

“After the 100th World Cycling Championships that took place in Flanders in 2021, we are now also bringing the World Cup gravel to Flanders,” said Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister of Sport. 

“With our Brabantse Wouden as a beautiful green backdrop, we can once again show Flanders as a cycling nation with great organizational talent.”

Organiser Golazo said the riders will cross the Brabantse Wouden from west to east, with riders starting out with a loop that brings them back through the Halle start line before heading through the Hallerbos and the Zoniënwoud to the Meerdaalwoud. There the elite riders will complete a loop “several times” before a Leuven finish.

The full details of the course and distances across the categories are yet to be disclosed.

Before Belgium hosts its first UCI Gravel World Championships in 2024 it will also introduce its own Gravel National Championships in 2023, to run on October 15. The national title race will start and finish in Oud-Heverlee, which the World Championships finish loop in the Meerdaalwoud runs through. 

“Becoming the first Belgian champion in gravel, after being the first world champion, is what I want to go for," said Vermeersch

"I also note the World Championships with a dot. I know the region from a number of cyclocross races in the past. 

"Here you can map out a very nice course with quite a few altimeters. Bacon to my mouth, I'm already looking forward to it and I won't be the only one." 

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Simone Giuliani