Fayetteville to represent U.S. as gravel cycling world champs qualifier city

(Courtersy, Chinkapin Hollow Gravel Grinder)

Fayetteville will once again represent the United States in a world-class bike racing event.

The Highlands Gravel Classic, set for June 24, 2023 in Fayetteville, is again part of the UCI Gravel World Series, which serves as a qualifier for the UCI’s annual Gravel World Championships.

It will be the second year in a row that Fayetteville is the only city in the United States to host a qualifier. In 2022, the Highlands Gravel Classic was also the only U.S. qualifying event and one of 11 globally for the inaugural world championships.

During each qualifier, the top 25% of finishers in 10 men’s and 10 women’s age groups become eligible to compete at the world championships.

Race organizers anticipate a significant increase in participation in the 2023 race as cyclists from around the world look to secure their place in the world championship event that will take place in Italy in October 2023.

“The 2023 Highlands Gravel Classic is getting an early start in terms of marketing and registration being opened to ensure that every gravel cyclist in the U.S. can get this event on their calendar to take their shot at qualifying for the World Championship race in Italy, said Bruce Dunn, race director and CEO of All Sports Productions.

All Sports is the same team behind the Joe Martin Stage Race, Natural State Criterium Series, Chinkapin Hollow Gravel Grinder and several other cycling and running events.

The Highlands Gravel Classic is open to gravel riders of all levels, with all participants racing the same two courses. Men ages 19-59 and women ages 19-49 will compete on a 66.4-mile course while men over age 60 and women over age 50 will race on a 52.4-mile course. All races start and finish at Fritchie Farms, which is just east of Fayetteville.

Registration for all events is now open at www.highlandsgravelclassic.com.