Event date: June 25, 2022
The inaugural Highlands Gravel Classic, a new professional and elite amateur gravel cycling event, is happening in Fayetteville on June 25, 2022.
As one of only two Gravel World Series races in the United States and one of fifteen in the entire world, the Highlands Gravel Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas will act as the first U.S. qualifier for the brand new UCI Gravel World Championships! The inaugural event will feature a backdrop of the breathtaking Boston Mountain range of the Ozark Mountains - aka the Highlands! - and the incredible gravel roads that intertwine them. With miles upon miles of canopy-covered gravel roads, participants are in for a treat with terrain that changes constantly as you ride through the rural backcountry of the Ozarks.
The Highlands Gravel Classic features two courses, both 95% gravel! The longer “Highlands” course will act as the qualifier for younger riders while the shorter “Farmlands” course will be the qualifier for older age categories. Riders will have the opportunity to qualify for UCI Gravel Worlds by finishing in the top 25 percent of their age category at any of the events in the Highlands Gravel Classic (or at any of the other events in the Gravel World Series).
The “Highlands” course is a winding 70 mile (113km) journey beginning and ending at a charming private farm just outside of Fayetteville. With miles of gravel roads surrounded by a lush awning of natural woodlands, riders will encounter over a dozen climbs as they make their way through the remote backcountry of the Ozark Mountains. The most arduous climb stretches a full 2.9 miles (4.7km), with the highest point of the day reached at 2,200 ft on a sprawling ridgeline 33 miles into the course - all with views of the Boston Mountain range rolling across the skyline. The “Farmlands” course isn’t too much shorter - 52 miles (84km) - and utilizes many sections of the “Highlands” course, but with a cut through at 24 miles to join back for the finisher.
While Fayetteville has been a worldwide destination for spectators and competitors of elite-level road racing for many years, the Highlands Gravel Classic opens Northwest Arkansas up to a whole new sector of cycling enthusiasts. We can expect to see competitors from across the country and around the globe coming to ride and compete on our scenic gravel roads now, too.
Additional information and registration is expected soon.
The event is organized by All Sports Productions - who promotes the annual Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race along with many other road, mountain bike, cyclocross and gravel races and fondos in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area.