Fayetteville to host sole U.S. qualifier for Gravel World Championships in 2024

Ethan Overson (left) stands alongside Crystal Anthony during the awards ceremony following the Highlands Gravel Classic on June, 24, 2023 in Fayetteville, Ark. Overson was the overall winner in the men’s division with a time of 3:34:07, while Anthony finished first in the women’s category at 4:09:13. (Brannon Pack/Highlands Gravel Classic)

Fayetteville will once again serve as the only city in the U.S. to host a qualifier race for the UCI Gravel World Championships.

The Highlands Gravel Classic, set for April 27, 2024, remains a part of the Gravel World Series in which the top 25% of finishers in each age group qualify for the world championships.

It’s the third year for the series, which includes 25 races across 16 countries, culminating with the world championships finale in Belgium.

The 2023 race in Fayetteville included riders from 38 states and 8 foreign countries. It was held in June, but will move to late April to take advantage of milder temperatures, according to Bruce Dunn, race director and CEO of All Sports Productions

“Our gravel courses are over 90% gravel and will feature the Boston Mountains – home to the highest peaks and some of the most rewarding scenery in the Ozarks,” said Dunn. “We look forward to hosting the only Gravel World Series qualifier in the USA and for riders to take their shot at qualifying for the World Championship race in Belgium.”

Johnny Purvis of Fayetteville races during the 2023 Highlands Gravel Classic. Purvis finished first in the men’s age 35-39 division with a time of 3:40:39. (Andrew Onermaa/Highlands Gravel Classic)

While many elite, world-class gravel racers are expected to participate, the race is open to 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-mile course while men 60+ and women 50+ will compete on a 52-mile course.

Pre-event festivities will include shakeout rides, participant registration, and more to be hosted in downtown Fayetteville with the competition events beginning from the nearby community of Goshen.

Registration links and complete details can be found at www.highlandsgravelclassic.com.