"Team Tactics" are starting to happen on Gravel Races


Getting on the lift
Jun 6, 2021
all over the place
Because early adopters had romantic notions of doing an end-around existing rule making organizations, tiered competition and fun-sucking tactics by expounding on the 'newness' and 'down to earth' of the subsport. And that got picked up by event marketing - there is no gravel event anywhere that doesn't have populist promotion.

And so this thread is really about how much growth-related cancer gravel events can sustain without being forced drop the populist pretense, without rulesing up and without strictly enforced category/tier/qualifier splits.
Are "Fondo" races? Do those have to conform to rule making organizations?

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
SkiTalk Tester
Nov 12, 2015
Washington, DC
Are "Fondo" races? Do those have to conform to rule making organizations?

It depends.

There is a UCI Gran Fondo series with a world championship event every year. There are a smattering of UCI sanctioned GF events in the U.S. (the national champs are always in Frederick, MD, in mid-September). There are other series (e.g. the Gran Fondo Campagnolo series) that are similar in scope. All adhere to WADA anti-doping rules. Example: Gran Fondo New York (part of the Campagnolo series) had a history of winners failing doping tests over the years.

That said, they aren't all UCI qualifiers. The technical difference between a gran fondo and a century ride is timed ascents: the fondos all have timing on the climbs, whereas the century rides don't have such a requirement.