The uncertainty around the UCI’s Gravel World Championships and Gravel World Series may be clearing as Cyclingnews is reporting the famous strade bianche gravel roads of Tuscany, Italy will be the venue for the first UCI Gravel World Championships
After talking with L’Eroica founder, Giancarlo Brocci, who back in 2020 expressed interest in hosting the UCI Gravel World Championships in Tuscany, Cyclingnews is reporting the 2022 world championship event will be awarded to Brocci, L’Eroica and the Tuscan region.
If true, it is possible the non-competitive vintage cycling event L’Eroica, already planned 03 October in Gaiole, will be part of a UCI Gravel Worlds, although it remains to be seen if Gravel Worlds participants will be required to step-back in time to the golden years of Italian Cycling, the 40’s and 50’s, and ride steel bikes with downtube shifters and toe-clips while wearing leather hairnets and wool kits.
Though, that might be cool…
Nonethless, since the UCI announced the 2022 UCI Gravel World Championships and UCI Gravel World Series last September, official plans, rules and schedules are non-existent, underscoring the UCI’s difficult task of winning over gravel event promoters that value independence and despise bureaucracy.
The resulting deafening silence from the UCI and series organiser Golazo Sports leave gravel riders worldwide churning in the wind, lost and confused.
Pro gravel racer and former WorldTour roadie Laurens ten Dam underscored the current UCI Gravel Worlds confusion and uncertainty to VeloNews in a recent interview.
“I heard several things. I heard it’s going to be Tahoe, in August. Then I heard a rumor that it would be in Italy. Then there was another rumor it was Tahoe but not confirmed yet. Belgium could be in the loop, too. If it’s not confirmed, it’s not confirmed. Then I heard Tahoe again, October 8-9.”
To date, only a preliminary 2022 UCI Gravel World Series calendar has been leaked, showing 14 small lesser-known events around the world. No major events from the heart of gravel racing, the United States, are participating.
Gaining support out of the United States for the UCI Gravel World Series and World Championships has been challenging – almost non existent – with organisers and USA Cycling deciding not to participate due to the lack of leadership and guidance from the UCI on rules and regulations, not to mention the steep fee organisers must pay the UCI.
The only thing that is certain right now is the UCI lacks a solid plan to pull off the 2022 UCI Gravel World Series and World Championships.
Hopefully they will get their act together soon.
PHOTOS: Dan King