The Gralloch is a one-day “classical style” gravel cycling event that takes place annually in May in the Galloway Forrest in Dumfries and Galloway. It is the UK’s first and only UCI gravel race! The event is organized by the team behind a series of successful gravel events and the Tour of Cambridgeshire, the biggest UCI Gran Fondo worldwide. It is itself a qualifying event for the UCI Gravel World Series culminating in the UCI Gravel World Championship in Italy, in October.
The event starts and finishes in the picturesque town of Gatehouse of Fleet in Southwest Scotland. The route of the Gralloch is almost entirely in the Galloway Forrest, covering around 110km with approximately 2,000m of climbing, making it a tough day in the saddle for participants. The route is designed to showcase the natural beauty of Scotland while challenging participants with various cycling conditions, including challenging climbs, fast descents, and technical terrain. The event allows riders to experience some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes and test their skills and endurance in a truly memorable setting. Participants can expect to ride on a mix of dirt and gravel roads, with some sections of singletrack and technical terrain thrown in for good measure. For the nitty gritty race details, check out the official 2023 Race Guide.
The area is part of both the Galloway Forest Park and the internationally recognized Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, which is recognized as a world-class environment for both people and nature. The Gralloch is committed to the principles of the Sustainable Event Charter of the Biosphere, aiming to be a sustainable event and promoting the unique natural surroundings that participants will explore on the bike.
Dumfries and Galloway is the most southwestern part of Scotland, located 1.5h south of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The area is known for its historic buildings and castles and is perfect for outdoor activities, with plenty to do for mountain bikers and gravel riders who can explore the area. The start and finish of the event are located in Gatehouse of Fleet, a small town with 1000 inhabitants split in two by the Fleet River, which flows into the Irish Sea a mile further.
There are a variety of accommodation options for the event including camping within 3 miles of the event start at Newton Campsite as well as Solway View Holidays which is located on a beef and sheep farm.
The UCI Gravel World Series is a sister series of the UCI Gran Fondo Series, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which takes place across multiple countries and continents. These races typically involve long, unpaved routes with challenging terrain and attract professional and amateur riders worldwide. The events are known for their rugged and adventurous nature and are designed to test participants’ endurance, skill, and determination. The series aims to promote and grow the sport of gravel cycling while providing a platform for top-level competition and showcasing the beauty of the natural landscapes in which the events are held.