The UCI Gravel World Championship – Veneto returns to the Veneto region of Italy after a successful first-ever debut in 2022. As the second edition of this championship unfolds, both professional athletes and qualified amateur cyclists (qualifiers of the 15+ events of the UCI Gravel World Series) from across the globe are set to converge, competing on the gravel and paved roads of Veneto, a region renowned for its awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cycling history. The combination of extensive flat stretches peppered with challenging inclines makes this event truly unique and irresistible. At Strambecco, we rate the event as one of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in Italy for 2023.
Event & Course Info
The UCI Gravel World Championship – Veneto kicks off at Lago Le Bandie in Treviso and culminates in Pieve di Soligo. For the Women Elite and age groups race on Saturday, participants will cover a distance of 140km with an elevation gain of 1660m. The race begins with an ambient lap around Le Bandie lake, followed by a 30km flat section of mostly gravel roads. As they encounter the initial hills, riders will cross the finish line for the first time at the 46km mark. The subsequent loop offers more paved sections, ending after 86km with an elevation surge. The final loop is a mix of gravel and road, climaxing with two steep climbs, the last of which concludes just 5km before the finish.
For Men over 65 and Women over 50, the route is shortened to 100km, skipping the second loop and offering an elevation gain of 1030m. On Sunday, the Men Elite and age groups 19-49 will face a challenging 169km distance with an elevation gain of 1890m. The initial stretch mirrors Saturday’s layout, but the latter part features an extended loop around Lago di Lago and the demanding Ca’ del Poggio climb after 85km.
Erwin Vervecken, UCI Gravel World Series race director, has emphasized the rigor of this year’s courses compared to the previous year. Interestingly, most of the route can accommodate vehicles, ensuring that mechanical or sag support will be readily available. Participation in this grand event requires riders to qualify either by securing a position in the top 25% of their age category at a UCI Gravel World Series event or through an elite wildcard. Those who qualify receive an exclusive invitation link. Furthermore, riders privileged with national team wildcards for elite and age group categories are directly enlisted.
Mark your calendars for the 7th and 8th of October 2023 and brace yourself for an unparalleled gravel cycling experience in the enchanting setting of Veneto, Italy.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Veneto, in northeastern Italy, boasts a rich history marked by significant events like the settlement of the Holy Roman Empire and Napoleon’s presence. It offers a diverse artistic and landscape heritage, with landmarks such as Verona’s Arena, Venice’s Doge’s Palace, and Bassano’s Ponte degli Alpini, all set against the backdrop of the UNESCO-recognized Dolomites. As the sixth most visited region in Europe, Veneto’s Vicenza, known for its UNESCO World Heritage sites and fervor for cycling, will be the starting point for the first Gravel World Championships. The event will conclude in Cittadella, the only European city with a fully walkable medieval elliptical wall, which previously hosted the Italian Cycling Championships in 2020.
It is a 40 min drive between the start town and finish town, so whichever area you decide to stay in will be relatively close, and there are many vacation rental and hotel in Treviso as well as vacation rentals and hotels in Pieve di Soligo. If you enjoy camping, you can also explore some of the campground and RV parking options in the area.
Treviso, Italy, boasts a rich culinary tradition rooted in Venetian cuisine, with specialties ranging from the delicate ‘radicchio rosso’ (red chicory) to freshwater fish dishes, complemented by the region’s renowned Prosecco wine. The city’s eateries celebrate these local ingredients, offering a gastronomic journey that blends centuries-old recipes with contemporary Italian flair. Check out some of these visitor favorites and the Michelin guide for some mind blowing meals while you are in town for the UCI Gravel World Championship – Veneto.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find that Treviso and the surrounding area offers a range of activities to satiate their adventurous spirit. The Prosecco hills around Treviso are a UNESCO World Heritage site and offer scenic cycling routes. These trails wind through picturesque vineyards, medieval villages, and rolling landscapes, providing a blend of physical challenge and visual treat. Start your journey in Conegliano and cycle through to Valdobbiadene, passing through the heart of Prosecco wine country. This roughly 35-km route will take you past historical wineries, offering ample opportunities for wine tasting, making it both a culinary and athletic adventure.
Hiking in Montello Forest is another popular activity on a forested hill that stretches for about 16 km in length and 7 km in width. It’s a verdant escape and offers various trails for hikers of all levels. The trails here meander through dense woods, offering solitude and a chance to witness the rich flora and fauna. Start your hike from one of the many villages that encircle Montello, like Volpago or Venegazzù. Choose between trails that take you to historical sites from World War I or routes that offer panoramic views of the Venetian plains.
Finally, the Sile River flows serenely through Treviso, offering outdoor enthusiasts a unique water-bound perspective of the region. Paddling along, one can enjoy the serene landscapes, ancient watermills, and rich birdlife that the riverbanks boast. Embark on a paddling adventure from the town of Casier and paddle downstream towards the Venetian Lagoon. The river’s gentle currents make it suitable even for beginners.
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. In addition to the UCI Gravel World Championship – Veneto, La Monsterrato is also part of the Series and held in Italy, while Strambecco also reviews the Highlands Gravel Classic and the Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo, the only North American series events.
For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in Italy to add to their calendar, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class Gran Fondos such as Tre Valli Veresine a UCI Gran Fondo World Series and Specialized Gran Fondo Series event or Maratona dles Dolomites – as well as top mountain biking, and trail running events.
var script = document.createElement(“script”); script.setAttribute(“src”, “https://es.pinkbike.org/ttl-86400/sprt/j/trailforks/widget.js”); document.getElementsByTagName(“head”).appendChild(script); var widgetCheck = false;