A list of cycle road races on the 2019 road race calendar that feature gravel, pave and dirt.
I have always had an interest in cycle races that deviate away from asphalt roads such as the Paris Roubaix ‘Spring Classic’ held over the notorious pave of northern France and I have often posted video, pictures and results on Social Media. In 2018 I began listing cycle road races that have in common a touch of the ‘Roubaixesque’ about them.
Most races across Europe in 2018 were generally held in dry conditions although two on my list weren’t – the white mud caked faces of both women and men in the Strade Bianchi highlighted that conditions especially for the women were wet. Similarly the La Classique Morbihan women’s race held in France on May 25 was hit by a deluge and the gravel and dirt roads there became a huge challenge.
The basic list of races I posted at the start of 2018 season grew as I became aware of other events, including a number in Scandinavia. No doubt just as I was caught out in 2018 I will also be in 2019 and this list is very much a work in progress. it will be updated as race organisers reveal their routes further into 2019.
Many of these races attract cyclo cross riders and in the 2017 edition of Dwars door het Hageland World Cyclo Cross Champions; Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel battled down to the wire for the win.
The last 20 minutes of Dwars door het Hageland 2017 is very much at the top of my list of all-time favourite race action.
All the races featured in 2018 including a few ‘gravel’ stage races that may not do so in 2019 (eg. Colorado Classic, Giro d’Italia etc.) can be found here – 2018 Results/Video
Many of the fixtures have live streaming via the internet and when possible we will preview each race at ‘Velo Klubhaus‘.
Main picture is a screen shot from Paris Tours 2018
Next Race – Le Samyn – March 5 2019.
Tar and Gravel – January 19 2019 – Results/Video posted
A UCI New Zealand Race and for the first time there will also be a women’s edition.
Held in the Manawatu Region of New Zealand the race covers five gravel sectors making up approximately 40km.
Le Samyn – March 5 2019
The mini-‘Roubaix’ held in memory of Jose Samyn and raced since 1968.
The race features a number of cobble sections in the Wallonia region of Belgium and the 2018 edition saw frozen earth thrown into the air like dust.
If it rains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwz8ZKvRgOA&t=240s
Strade Bianchii – March 9 2019
Held on the ‘white roads’ of Tuscanny from Siena to Siena. This race has grown to cult and beyond ‘Classic’ status in a very short period of time, and is seen by many as a modern ‘Monument’ of cycling.
The white gravel roads intermingled with tarmac and many climbs, are dusty when dry and makes ‘mud people’ out of riders when wet.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqX1T4Mh3ec (Highlights/English)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVesYAiVBjA (English)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qpdeKGFwCA (Italian)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrQIM5kb8iE (Flemish)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J9eOeQX1F4 (Flemish)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrQIM5kb8iE (Flemish)
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKRlrfhrNnQ (French)
Gent Wevelgem – March 31 2019
In addition to twice up the Kemmelberg climb the race features three ‘dirt’ sections (ploegsteerts or ‘plug streets, the latter pointing out the inability of Commonwealth soldiers to grasp hold of Flemish nuances in WW1).
On these dirt roads lie many clusters of spent humanity on what was once the fighting line through Belgium and France – We rode the Kemmelberg in 2013
2018 All champions – https://www.facebook.com/gentwevelgem/videos/1924729617559045/
The finish – https://www.facebook.com/gentwevelgem/videos/1924654507566556/
Kemmelberg 2nd time – https://www.facebook.com/gentwevelgem/videos/1924572387574768/
Christmas Truce Plug St – https://www.facebook.com/gentwevelgem/videos/1924551087576898/
Paris Roubaix – April 14 2019
The biggest of the selection of races I am following and it’s the ‘Hell of the North’!!
2018 Men Video
20Km to go – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aud64x7WCpg
Race part 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvATQcyE6fQ
Race part 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8IsLJce0cs
Arenberg – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R8AdP34XCU
Stage nine of the 2018 Tour de France from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix featured 20 kilometres of the ‘Queen of the North’ pave raced over 15 sectors.
On board: https://www.facebook.com/veloncc/….
The sprint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95iHduSgj98
Quick report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYzsxWZqo7E
Froome crashes: https://www.youtube.com/…
Winner interview: https://www.facebook.com/EurosportUK/…
Tro-Bro Léon – April 22 2019
Held in Brittany where going off road seems to be of a second nature.
Full race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B56fnJkJ8LQ&t=6s
French full race – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U-HivGqU0g
French full race – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMUV6axKlCo
French last Km’s – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSnybRJob6Y
GP Herning – April 27 2019
The route includes 30 kilometres over fifteen sections of gravel tracks held in Jutland, ‘GP Herning – En forårsdag på heden – GP Herning – A spring day on the moors’.
Men 2018 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF-sKbfhOgA
Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic – April 28 2019
Britain’s best race and set in the Melton Mowbray area featuring a number of tough dirt sections.
Video – https://youtu.be/qFfzR9lwcrY
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6Hn6CIPUVc
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuYSJWxhK1Q
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY_vWAcqHYQ
GP Himmerland Rundt – May 4 2019
Ten dirt roads to be traversed in Jutland, Denmark.
2018 Elite Men
Sadly not much video although there is a quick glimpse of the gravel action in the TV report.
And so as to compensate for the lack of action here is a link to a nice and calm film about Himmerland – Video: https://vimeo.com/26852688
La Classique Morbihan – June 1 2019
The 2018 edition featured dirt roads and a change of weather that saw Biblical like rain fall.
3rd Women’s CiCLE Classic – June 9 2019
The 3rd Women’s edition of the popular International CiCLE Classic and a round of the HSBC British Championship Series. Held over the same dirt tracks as the men in April.
Dwars Door Het Hageland – June 21 2019
2018 was a very dusty day on the cobbles and gravel, but if it rains….
Tour de France Stage 6- Mulhouse /La Planche des Belles Filles – July 7 2019
A wee bit of dirt at the end of the first real mountain test for the Tour de France riders when they ride up to the summit of the La Planche des Belles Filles. This 5.5km climb has seen a number of Tour finishes, but for the first time the riders will continue up a one kilometre dirt road to the summit proper.
In 2018 the Tour took in 20 kilometres of Roubaix pave and the Gravel ascent of the Plateau des Glières (also featured in Le Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc) – 2018 Results/Video
Slag om Norg- August 11 2019
A Dutch race held near to Assen and features some 30 kilometres of gravel, dirt and unpaved roads in the overall race distance of 190.5 Kms. The sections of unpaved roads number over 40!
Highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plNCRVAzdKY
Highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKPPsJLSb0&t=6s
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQyEZTw__fE&t=108s
Postnord Vargarda West Sweden UCI World Tour – August 18 2019
A round of the Women’s UCI World Tour set in western Sweden and the race features four sections of gravel.
Ronde van de Achterhoek – August 18 2019
A short stretch of gravel and cobbles are included in this race. Although the race itself is not UCI registered it does represent the bread and butter of the very competitive cycle race scene to be found in the area.
The race founded in 1969 came back to life in 2017 after stopping post the 1988 edition.
The Great War Remembrance Race – August 30 2019
The first edition of the Great War Remembrance Race was held in 2018 and the race route follows the bitter World War One fighting line in Flanders.
The race is a smaller relation to the Gent Wevelgem road race, the event covers three ‘dirt’ sections – ploegsteerts or ‘plug streets’.
The Crater (Plug Street) : https://www.facebook.com/…
Palingbeek (cobbles): https://www.facebook.com/…
Kemmelberg (climb): https://www.facebook.com/…
The finish: https://www.facebook.com/...
The finish: https://www.youtube.com/…
Podium in Ypres: https://www.facebook.com/…
La Vuelta stage 9: Andorra la Vella – Cortals d’Encamp 96.8 kms – September 1 2019
There are four kilometres of gravel immediately preceding the final ascent of Cortals d’Encamp, in total the peloton will face tackle 22 kilometres of almost continuous climbing at stage end.
The final climb is to be ridden from the opposite direction than in previous Vuelta’s so we are looking for video (lots as per previous races).
Gylne Gutuer GP – September 8 2019
Norway is made up of gravel roads and this race held as part of the Uno-X Development Weekend. It features 28 sections of the loose stuff, some 54.8 km of the 165 race distance was gravel.
The Hafjell GP (TT) is on the Friday, the Lillehammer GP (tarmac) on Saturday with Gylne Gutuer following on Sunday.
Antwerp Port Epic – September 8 2019
The general ethos of the Schaal Sels (now held purely on tarmac) can be seen in the ‘Antwerp Port Epic’ and the race continues to honour the memory of Belgian cycling journalist Jacques-Charles Sels who died during the 1920 Milan-Antwerp road race.
Previous Years – ‘Schaal Sels’
Full Race – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M-H4StjEys
Dusty tracks 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qJHz-GqKzk
Dusty tracks 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wzTPaP3us4
Final/Results – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smspa3WglhU&t=18s
Website: – http://www.schaalsels.be/
Paris Tours – October 13 2019
The usual sprinters festival that is Paris Tours was given a big pep for 2018 with the addition of seven sharp climbs and over 12 kilometres of gravel roads.
Within the last 60 kilometres the race begins a number of sectors of gravel roads through Vouvray appellation vineyards.
DS Tom Southam wrote about the 2018 edition of Paris-Tours in Soigneur magazine and the introduction of sections of ‘chemins du vin’ in a race that was in need of change – go read.
Vineyard gravel video – https://www.facebook.com/paristours/videos/1958902594166638/