The Highlands Gravel Classic kicked off last year to rave reviews. The event has been selected for the Trek UCI Gravel World Series, an Official UCI qualifying event for October 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships. This is the REAL World Championships with 12 UCI Gravel World Series qualifiers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, and only 2 in the US. Participants aged 19 to 99 compete in their respective age categories. The top 25% of each age category qualify for the World Championships in their age group. If there are only a few riders in a given division, the top 3 of that age division also automatically qualify. The Jingle GX was selected because of the event producers’ knowledge and experience organizing world-class cycling events as the hosts of 5 prior UCI Cyclo-cross World Cups.
There are two options, Highlands and Farmlands, that both start and end at Fritchie Farms and are 95% gravel. The longer ride, or Highlands Course, is 70 miles and 5400 feet of elevation gain through the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. This particular mountain range is known as the Highlands. The longest climb is 2.9 miles at an elevation of 2,200 feet. The shorter ride, the Farmlands course, utilizes much of the same course as Highlands but is only 52 miles and cuts back to finish at 24 miles before the long climb at mile 33. For both options, there are Feed Zones located between 25k – 30k along the course.
Fayetteville has a lot to offer for all participants and supporters. Several locally owned restaurants are open; Eclectic Kitchen, Bocca Italian, and Mermaids Seafood Restaurant. Lodging options in Fayetteville include standard hotels like Days Inn and campgrounds like Lake Wedington.