The municipality of Oud-Heverlee (Flanders) will host the first historic edition of the Gravel European Championships that will be take place on Sunday 1st October 2023.
The agreement was signed today between the UEC, the municipality of Oud-Heverlee and the technical organisers Golazo. The programme and all details on the event for the Elite and Masters men’s and women’s categories will be revealed in the next few days.
Enrico Della Casa, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: “Gravel is a discipline which has significantly grown over the last few years both in terms of the number of practitioners and media coverage. It attracts all age groups and all types of cyclists, from professionals to keen enthusiasts. Today cycling in all its forms is becoming even more varied and this is very positive because it draws people with different skills and passions closer to the bike. The UEC has always been very attentive and open to new forms, and this is why we wanted this speciality to have its own European Championships, and for this grand premiere, there could be no better place than Oud-Heverlee, in spite of the different bids from various countries. That also makes us look with great optimism to the future of this event, especially for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 editions, for which we have already started talks and meetings and which are currently at a very advanced stage.
Sport in Belgium is synonymous with cycling not only because of its history and tradition, but also the public’s warmth and enthusiasm and quality organisation norms which are a part of all events.
I wish to thank the municipality of Oud-Heverlee and the Burgomaster Bart Clerck, the Flanders Government and its Sports Minister Ben Weyte, the Province Flemish Brabant and its MP Gunther Coppens, for the welcome they will give to all competitors, the Belgian Cycling Federation and its President Tom van Damme, which as well as having a strong cycling tradition, thanks to its attentive and scrupulous cycling promotion policy, is one of the most active federations in Europe and the world. Special thanks also to the organisers Golazo, a guarantee for excellent organisation, who will make these championships unique and unforgettable.”
Tom Van Damme, President of the Belgian Cycling Federation: “As a new discipline, Gravel has become a cycling discipline in its own right, in a short space of time as both a high-level sport and recreational activity.
There is no doubt that Gravel brings a new momentum to cycling and thanks to Gianni Vermeersch, Belgium will crown the first World Champion in the discipline, which is even more motivating for us in charge of the organisation of a European Championships.
Belgian Cycling – as a leading cycling federation – is very optimistic about Gravel’s promising future.”