After low attendance at the last few UCI Gravel World Series races, Houffa Gravel in Belgium showcased that the series has potential to rival it’s road cousin, the UCI Gran Fondo World Series.
Over 1200 graveleurs registered for the 50, 68 and 110 kilometers long gravel races, with over 700 trying to qualify for the 2022 UCI Gravel World Championships on a route that started with a leg breaking 1km 11% grade.
In the men’s 110km race through the rugged Ardennes, Dutch gravel specialist Jasper Ockeloen (Trek) won in 3:38:09, making the victory his second in a row at the UCI Gravel World Series after winning last week at Gravel Grit ‘n Grind. Belgium’s Seppe Rombouts finished second with South African Hendrik Kruger third.
Also scoring her second UCI Gravel World Series win, Tessa Neefjes (Giant Liv Benelux Offroad Team) from The Netherlands sprinted across the finish line to win in 4:23:03, just two seconds ahead of German Stefanie Dohrn. Former German MTB champion Janine Schneider came in third.
Riders finishing in the top 25% of their age/gender category qualify for the first ever UCI Gravel World Championships in Italy on 8-9 October at a still-to-be-announced venue. Four qualifying races in Italy, Australia, Netherlands and Spain remain before the world championshps.
Complete UCI Houffa Gravel results HERE.
Photos: Yuzza Houffa Gravel