First UCI Gravel World Championships in Veneto, Italy, 8-9 October.

Race Routes announced

The fast-growing sport of gravel racing breaks new ground in October with the first ever UCI Gravel World Championships, under the aegis of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and organised by PP Sport Events, in collaboration with the Municipality of Vicenza and the Municipality of Cittadella in Italy’s Veneto region. Races will take place on the weekend of 8 and 9 October 2022.

The first rainbow jerseys in the discipline will be awarded at the end of a stunning route that starts in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vicenza, passes close to the city of Padua, and finishes at the medieval walled city of Cittadella, 25 km northeast of Vicenza. The itinerary takes in the two provinces of Vicenza and Padua and showcases the natural and architectural beauty of the Veneto with its long and deep-rooted passion for cycling.

The route design is the work of Angelo Furlan and Marco Menin, commissioned by PP Sport Events. The Women and Men 50+ categories will race on Saturday 8 October on a 140-kilometre course with 69 percent gravel and 700 metres of altitude gain, while the Men Elite and Under-49 races take place on Sunday 9 October over the same route, with the addition of a 25-kilometre final circuit that the age-group riders complete once, making 165 kilometres and 750 metres of altitude gain, and the professionals complete twice, making 190 kilometres, 73 percent gravel and 800 metres of altitude gain. The gravel sections are predominantly typical Italian white gravel roads.

The UCI Gravel World Championships are exacting from the opening kilometres, where the main climbs are concentrated. After the race start in Vicenza’s Campo Marzio, the competitors face a steep cobbled climb to the sanctuary of Monte Berico, followed by a series of climbs and descents as far as Sant’Agostino, before dropping down to the shore of Lake Fimon and the road to Montegaldella. The next 80 kilometres, all flat, are in the province of Padua: Selvazzano, Tancarola, Padua, and Noventa, then, along the right bank of the River Brenta, Limena, Piazzola sul Brenta and Cittadella. At this point the Men Elite and the competitors of the Men Under-49 categories start a final circuit that takes in the outlying territories of Cittadella and Tezze sul Brenta, straddling the provinces of Padua and Vicenza. The finish line is in Piazza Pierobon, at the heart of the thirteenth-century walled city.

UCI President David Lappartient said: ‘After the launch of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series and the awarding of the first two editions of the UCI Gravel World Championships, the announcement of the 2022 UCI Gravel World Championship course is a decisive step in the integration of this discipline by the UCI. Gravel is booming and is part of the unprecedented development that cycling has been undergoing for several years, particularly in its off-road variants. This development shows the population’s desire for nature and its growing awareness of the issue of sustainable development. It also shows the dynamism of our increasingly popular sport.’

Riders can qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships at Trek UCI Gravel World Series events by finishing in the top 25% of their age category and gender. In addition, National Federations are entitled to send a selection of their best riders.

The Men Elite and Women Elite riders – members of UCI-registered teams or with a wild card from their National Federation – who win their event will be awarded the UCI World Champion’s rainbow jersey. Riders taking part in the mass participation events for their respective age category will compete for the UCI World Champion jersey specially designed for the age group winners. Races in the different categories will start in waves with small intervals.

Saturday 8 October: Women Elite, Women 19-34, Women 35-39, Men 50-54, Men 55-59, Men 60+ and Women 40+

Sunday 9 October: Elite Men, Men 19-34, Men 35-39, Men 40-44, Men 45-49