The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has revealed the races and dates of the all-new 2022 Gravel World Series, confirming a calendar of 12 events beginning in the Philippines on April 3 and including two events the USA and Australia and one in France, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
The number of events and the dates are different to those leaked in February, with the Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo in Canada no longer included, while the Highlands Gravel Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas will be held on June 25.
The Ranxo event in Spain concludes the series on September 18.
The UCI hinted that the first edition of the official UCI Gravel World Championships will be held in ‘European autumn’, with the venue due to be announced shortly.
Cyclingnews has already reported that the UCI Gravel World Championships will be held in Tuscany, Italy, on the same gravel roads - or strade bianche - as the famous L’Eroica event, on an October date, after the Gravel World Series.
The UCI announced last September it would create a gravel series and a Gravel World Championships, as the discipline grows in popularity but without rules and regulations from the international governing body. Gravel is the 10th discipline to award rainbow jerseys to the male and female world champions.
The UCI has loosened its rules for the first year of the Gravel World Series, allowing participants to compete on any type of bike, apart from ebikes.
No major events from established gravel rides or races in the USA were named for the inaugural year of the UCI World Series, including Garmin Gravel Worlds in Nebraska. The Gravel World Series will be sponsored by Trek and organised by Golazo, which also organises the UCI Gran Fondo World Series and World Championships as part of the UCI Cycling For All initiative.
In order to qualify for the Gravel World Championships, participants needed a UCI racing licence and must finish in the top 25 per cent per gender and age group.
The UCI made clear that, in contrast to the Gran Fondo World Series, professional athletes can take part in the Gravel World Series and so qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships.
UCI Gravel World Series calendar 2022
3 Apr 2022: UCI Gravel Philippines, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija (Phl)
15 May 2022: Seven, Nannup (Aus)
5 Jun 2022: Wish One Gravel Race, Millau (Fra)
18 Jun 2022: Gravel Adventure, Swieradow-Zdroj (Pol)
25 Jun 2022: Highlands Gravel Classic, Fayetteville (USA)
6 Aug 2022: Jingle GX Gravel Race, Amana (USA)
20 Aug 2022: Gravel Grit n Grind, Halmstad (Swe)
27 Aug 2022: Houffa Gravel, Houffalize (Bel)
3 Sep 2022: La Monsterrato-Strade Bianche Monferrato, Quattordio (Ita)
4 Sep 2022: Gravelista, Beechworth (Aus)
17 Sep 2022: Gravel One Fifty, Veenhuizen (Ned)
18 Sep 2022: Ranxo, Ponts (Spa)
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.