Union Cycliste Internationale event to be held in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines


The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body for sports cycling, is set to hold its inaugural sanctioned gravel world championships series. The first event will take place in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on April 3, 2022. 

The Trek UCI Gravel World Series will serve as its alternative off-road version for the premier UCI Gran Fondo World Series and World Championships and the winners will be awarded with the coveted UCI rainbow jersey. In September 2021, the UCI announced that it will organize, in collaboration with Golazo Sports, a UCI Gravel World Series consisting of events enabling athletes to qualify for the Trek UCI Gravel World Championships.

Based in Aigle, Switzerland, the UCI also oversees international competitive cycling events. Based in Beringen, Limburg, Belgium, Golazo Sports is an events organizer and a sports marketing agency.


With more than 15 events serving as qualifiers, the races are anticipated to be mass participation events as Gravel continues to be a booming discipline around the world, combining elements of road and mountain bike. The event takes place mainly on unsealed roads such as gravel, forest tracks, farm roads and cobbles.

On the Trek UCI Gravel World Series’ first iteration’s criteria for participation, the Trek UCI Gravel World Series is more geared towards non-professionals. whereas the Gran Fondo focuses on masters and cyclotourists, according to Golazo Sports off-road and gravel manager Erwin Vervecken. He explained, “In gravel, elite riders of the top level, riders from the WorldTour, from UCI teams, can participate, can qualify and do world championships. We expect the top riders.”

In order to qualify for the 2022 Trek UCI Gravel World Series, participants must finish in the top 25 percent group per gender and age group with each age group ranging five years between 19 and 79. It is for riders with no license, holds amateur and masters license, cycling for all license and elite license.


The equipment and course regulations of Gran Fondo will apply to Gravel World. While the final list of locations are yet to be revealed, races will be held in select event venues in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

The Trek UCI Gravel World Series Philippines event will include an 85km, the qualifier distance for 19 to 49, and 62km course, the qualifier distance for 50 and above. The majority of the race is flat and fast.

Starting in Vega Grande, located north of Bongabon, the 85km course is a mix of flat gravel roads along the river, forest roads, and dirt roads. The shorter 62km course includes a shortcut to the same finishing point of the 85km course.

The first race of the Trek UCI Gravel World Series will coincide with Bongabon’s festive season, which includes the Sibuyas Festival held every April 10. The celebration is a form of thanksgiving for a bountiful onion harvest.


Perfect in the summer, tourists can also enjoy the Falls Deepsap waterfall at Barangay Labi and a visit to Mount Labi Peak. Bongabon mayor Allan Xystus A. Gamilla is honored that the municipality will be part of the upcoming UPCI Gravel Series in the Philippines.

“Bongabon, being an emerging destination for cycling tourism and outdoor recreation, offers breathtaking sceneries with the most wonderful views of the Philippines’ untapped countryside,” Gamilla said. “It’s also a great place with exciting backroads, trails, and routes that every adventure seeker would be thrilled to experience.”

“Perfect in the summer, tourists can also enjoy the refreshing rivers and the cool weather at Mount Labi,” the Bongabon mayor continued. “It is also the home of the Bongabon Bike Park in Ariendo, an Enduro and Downhill MTB destination for the gravity riders.”

As the first Trek UCI Gravel World Series inch closer, organizers hope that its inclusiveness and scale will inspire any rider who wants a shot at the rainbow stripes. The 2022 Trek UCI Gravel World Series – Bongabon Philippines is supported by brands and institutions who push the sport forward for the cycling community namely Black Mamba, 8A Apparel, Genesis Eyewear, iGsport, Milo and Yakult.

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