After an expansion from one gravel event in 2021 to three in 2022, Flanders Gravel today announces a fourth and concluding event in Durbuy. Participants in the event on the Koppenberg will not only enjoy an off-road version of the Tour of Flanders, they will also have the opportunity to test themselves against each other in an extra trial section.
The Flanders Gravel Series from organiser Flanders Classics came into being last year with an event on and around the Koppenberg in Oudenaarde. After a first successful edition, Flanders Classics, which has joined forces with LtD Gravel Rides, decided to expand its programme. Earlier this year, Flanders Gravel Diksmuide (10 June) and Flanders Gravel Limburg (6 August) were announced, both are one-day events. Now, just like on the Koppenberg (1-2-3 July), there will also be a full gravel weekend at the end of the summer: Durbuy Gravel on 9, 10 and 11 September.
"We are really looking forward to this closing occasion," says Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel. "Durbuy is a location that fits perfectly with our gravel series. With the Ijzer Tower in Diksmuide, the Koppenberg in Oudenaarde and Alden Biesen in Bilzen, we already had three wonderful event sites with which to welcome our participants. Being able to add a location in the middle of the Ardennes, where off-road enthusiasts can really indulge themselves, makes Durbuy a dream closing occasion to our gravel season."
The start of the Ardennes gravel rides of 60, 100 and 140 km will be in the centre of Durbuy. The finish, with live performances, a bike expo and food trucks, will be on the event site near Durbuy Green Fields. Just as for the Koppenberg, participants will be able to choose either a day ticket or a weekend ticket.
Time registration Koppenberg
As well as a fourth location, Flanders Gravel is also launching a trial section at the event in Oudenaarde. Those who participate at Flanders Gravel Koppenberg will not only get to explore the most famous Tour of Flanders climbs off-road, they can also take part in a time trial on certain segments of the course.
"It is inherent to the avid cyclist to want to see how he/she measures up against the others," says Tomas Van Den Spiegel. "For the sake of clarity, the time registration will not be an obligation for our participants, but those who wish to do so can enter into the battle against the clock on specifically indicated segments. A nice little extra for a unique cycling day in and around Oudenaarde."
Laurens ten Dam of LtD Gravel Rides adds: "I'm really looking forward to it! Adventure combined with a physical challenge off the beaten track. That is real gravel. It is a real joy for me when I climb the iconic slopes of the Tour of Flanders from the other side. And afterwards, the typical live slow vibes: a beer, music and a BBQ."