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US gravel races 2022: Race dates, routes, TV guide, past winners and how to enter

The American gravel racing scene is hard to follow with limited coverage available, so here’s our guide to the biggest races in 2022

Will Strickson
2 Aug 2022

Somehow gravel is still growing, with more interested riders, new tech and new routes discovered all the time. The professional scene is also on a consistent upwards trajectory with races in its spiritual home of the USA growing in stature every year.

With the UCI deciding the time is right to try to take on gravel racing, the less regulated, more sportive-like American races are looking to cement their place as the discipline’s true form before European politics tries to take over.

However given its lack of infrastructure and TV coverage, it’s not an easy sport to follow outside of following races and riders on social media, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest American gravel races to add to your calendars.

Whether you want to check for coverage – which is improving year on year, check in on riders, look for ride inspiration or enter the races yourselves, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to get your fix.

It’s also a good place to start to follow race results to get to know who the big talents in gravel are with riders that you may not see in other disciplines or familiar faces from road races.

When does a ride become a race?

Photo: Mike Swim

Most of these events call themselves rides, and that’s because of the emphasis on enjoyment and participation over competition, however for the purposes of this list, we’re looking at where the top professional riders are plying their trade as opposed to the best ones for people to ride, however there are ways for anyone to enter most of these races, whether in their full form or a shorter length version.

You’ll also hear a lot about the ‘spirit of gravel’, which refers to the unwritten rules of these rides and their supposedly more laidback and welcoming environment but is often debated and heavily memed

2022 US gravel races: Key events for pros, route information, how to enter and TV coverage

At a glance

The Mid South

What: 100-mile race on red dirt roads – that becomes thick ‘peanut butter mud’ in the wet – with over 6,000ft of elevation.

When: 11th March 2023

Where: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Route: 

2022 winners: Cole Paton, Lauren De Crescenzo

Alternative distances: 12 miles, 50 miles

Enter: midsouthgravel.com

Sea Otter Classic

Photo: Nikki Ritcher

What: 80km ‘Fuego’ XC mountain bike race, two laps of course featuring mixture of gravel, singletrack and sand, with over 5,700ft of elevation. First event of the Life Time Grand Prix series and part of bigger Sea Otter Classic festival with heaps of new bike tech. 

When: 23rd April 2023

Where: Monterey, California

Route: 

Route map for Fuego XC/ROBLES TOUR by Jeffery Frost on plotaroute.com

TV coverage and higlights: Flo Bikes

2022 winners: Keegan Swenson, Mo Wilson

Alternative distances: 6km (juniors), 40km. Also 25-mile La Gravilla gravel race, road races and other MTB disciplines.

Enter: seaotterclassic.com

Belgian Waffle Ride California

What: 131.7-mile ride with 19 off-road sectors of singletrack, sandy trails and Cali-cobbles that make up 50 miles making it the ‘Hell of the West’. Over 11,000ft of climbing including ten Ardennes-style categorised climbs and a steepest gradient of 23%. First of four Belgian Waffle Rides across the season with an overall series title on offer. Full course details here.

When: 16th April 2023

Where: San Marcos, California

Route: 

2022 winners: Alexey Vermeulen, Mo Wilson

Alternative distances: 71-mile Wafer ride, 37.5-mile Wanna ride

Enter: belgianwaffleride.bike

Gravel Locos Texas

What: 155.3-mile race with 112 miles of gravel and over 8,200ft of elevation. Rolling hills, river crossings and scenery including old pecan plantations and the Leon River valley.

When: 20th May 2023

Where: Hico, Texas

Route: 

2022 winners: Laurens ten Dam, Emily Newsom

Alternative distances: GL100 La Gran 110.2 miles, GL60 La Mediana 69 miles, GL30 La Pequeña 32.8 miles

Enter: gravellocos.bike/hico

Unbound Gravel

Photo: Mike Swim

What: The biggest race in gravel. Unbound features 200 miles of the hardest gravel through the rolling flint hills of Kansas, which can become a mudfest. Also the second race of the Life Time Grand Prix series.

When: 3rd June 2023

Where: Emporia, Kansas

Route: 

TV coverage and highlights: Flo Bikes

2022 winners: Ivar Slik, Sofia Gomez Villafane

Alternative distances: Junior, 20 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles or the XL 350 miles

Enter: unboundgravel.com

Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina

What: The second race in the Belgian Waffle Ride series, ‘the Hell of the East’, is headlined by the 129.5-mile, 207.4km ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Taking in over 13,000ft of climbing and over 52 miles off-road, it's seen as the hardest in the BWR series. Featuring ‘unroads’, sandy trails, singletrack, mud and water crossings in often hot, humid and windy conditions, makes it a real test – but a scenic one.

When: June 2023

Where: Hendersonville, North Carolina

Route: ridewithgps.com

2022 winners: Peter Stetina, Sarah Max

Alternative distances: Wafer ride 71 miles, Wanna ride 37.5 miles

Enter: belgianwaffleride.bike

Crusher in the Tushar

What: A 69.9-mile route that's 60/40 gravel and tarmac but navigates over 12,000ft of elevation through The Tushars mountain range and Fishlake National Forest. It’s the next in the Life Time Grand Prix series.

When: 8th July 2023

Where: Beaver, Utah

Route: 

TV coverage: Flo Bikes

2022 winners: Keegan Swenson, Haley Smith

Enter: tucharcrusher.com

Leadville Trail 100 MTB

What: High altitude mountain bike race in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, starting at 10,152ft (3,094m) and going up to 12,424ft (3,787m) the Leadville 100 is breathtaking. An out-and-back route, riders head through forest rough service roads, two-track roads and a bit of singletrack. The next part of the Life Time, it is an offshoot of the Leadville 100 ultramarathon.

When: 13th August 2022

Where: Leadville, Colorado

Route: 

Route map for LT100 MTB by Michael Melley on plotaroute.com

TV coverage: Flo Bikes

2021 winners: Keegan Swenson, Rose Grant

Alternative distances: Other Leadville series events spread throughout the year

Enter: leadvilleraceseries.com

SBT GRVL

What: 142-mile course over two main climbs near skiing town Steamboat Springs, CO – home of Moots – featuring more than 100 miles of gravel and just under 9,200ft (2,800m) of climbing. A tough ask for anyone racing Leadville but one of the premier events on the calendar.

When: 14th August, 2022

Where: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Route: 

TV coverage: sbtgrvl.com

2021 winners: Alex Howes, Lauren De Crescenzo

Alternative distances: 100-mile ‘Blue’ route, 60-mile ‘Red’ route, 37-mile ‘Green’

Enter: sbtgrvl.com

Gravel Worlds

What: Representing the real ‘Spirit of Gravel’, Gravel Worlds is a lighthearted jab at the seriousness of ‘official’ events. Though there’s an emphasis on the grassroots feel and having fun riding with friends and family, the tough 150-mile course with over 10,000ft of elevation is a self-supported race with only water and basic nutrition given at check points. Winners get World Champions jerseys.

When: 20th August 2022

Where: Lincoln, Nebraska

2021 route: (2022 route announced in August)

2021 winners: John Borstelmann, Lauren De Crescenzo

Alternative distances: 300 miles, 75 miles, 50km

Enter: gravel-worlds.com

Rebecca’s Private Idaho

Photo: Linda Guerrette / Stellar Media

What: Four-day, three-stage stage race featuring 43.3-mile opener on singletrack and gravel roads, 4.5-mile uphill individual time-trial, optional rest day 20-mile fun ride, and final 102-mile 90% gravel road big finish.

When: 31st August - 4th September 2022

Where: Ketchum, Idaho

Routes: rebeccasprivateidaho.com

2021 overall winners: Peter Stetina, Rose Grant, Apollo Leonard, Megan Fisher

Alternative distances: individual stages 102 miles ‘Baked Potato’, 56 miles ‘French Fry’, 20 miles ‘Tater Tot’

Enter: rebeccasprivateidaho.com

Belgian Waffle Ride Utah

What: 130-mile 75% off-road course with ten road sectors, featuring just under 8,000ft of climbing through Red Hills dirt, singletrack, sand and rocky sections. Not as long or hilly as other BWR routes.

When: 24th September 2022

Where: Cedar City, Utah

Route: TBC week of event, 2020:

2021 winners: Peter Stetina, Whitney Allison

Alternative distances: 81-mile Wafer ride

Enter: belgianwaffleride.bike



Gravel Locos Colorado

What: New for 2022 is this 170.1-mile route on rural and farm roads in Pueblo, Colorado. With 13,242ft (4,036m) of elevation, it certainly won’t be an easy course but organisers have described the local groads as among the best gravel routes they’ve seen. 

When: 1st October 2022

Where: Pueblo, Colorado

Route: TBA

Alternative distances: La Gran Piedra 105.3 miles, La Mediana 64.8 miles, La Pequeña 30.2 miles (non-timed)

Enter: gravellocos.bike

Belgian Waffle Ride Michigan

What: Another new one for 2022, the latest addition to the Belgian Waffle Ride family is part of the new MoMITT Bike Fest. 130 miles of racing soon to be known as ‘Hell of the Great Lakes’ takes place in northern Michigan from Mt. Holiday, a skiing destination in the winter that sits near the East Arm Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. Expect plenty of climbing, tough terrain and incredible scenery, as per.

When: 9th October 2022

Where: Traverse City, Michigan

Route: TBC

Alternative distances: Wafer half distance

Enter: belgianwaffleride.bike

Belgian Waffle Ride Kansas

What: The final BWR of the year and the fourth part of the ‘Quadruple Crown of Gravel’ awarded to the best performers across the Belgian Waffle Ride races excluding Michigan, the Kansas ride is getting longer for 2022 and last year’s course was 86% off-road and had over 8,000ft (2,400m) of climbing.

When: 16th October 2022

Where: Lawrence, Kansas

Route: TBC approx 130 miles, 2021 route:

2021 winners: Tanner Ward, Tiffany Cromwell

Alternative distances: Wafer 69 miles, Wanna 36 miles

Enter: belgianwaffleride.bike

Big Sugar Gravel

What: The final race in the Life Time series, Big Sugar NWA is approx. 100 miles of largley unmaintained gravel, so expect big, loose rocks as well as water crossings with over 6,000ft (1,800m) of elevation gain. Named for Arkansas’s Sugar Creek, riders climb through the Ozark mountains and cross over the state's northern border with Missouri, not far from Oklahoma, spending half the race outside Arkansas before looping back.

When: 22nd October 2022

Where: Bentonville, Arkansas

2021 Route:

TV coverage: Flo Bikes

2021 winners: Adam Roberge, Mo Wilson

Alternative distances: Little Sugar 50 miles

Enter: bigsugargravel.com


Photos from race organisers unless stated otherwise.

For more on gravel rides, bikes and tech, visit our gravel hub page.