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Unbound Gravel Expands to Europe: Debut Qualifying Race in Belgium


Missed out on the Unbound Gravel lottery? No worries! Here's your shot at securing a spot in gravel's premier event in 2025, no lottery entry required.


Introducing Heathland Gravel, the inaugural qualifying race for Unbound Gravel, taking place in Maasmechelen, Belgium. Organized by Flanders Classics, this event on August 9-11, 2024, presents 50 coveted spots for Unbound 2025 to finishers of its 160 km (100-mile) course.


Heathland Gravel is shaking up entry to Unbound Gravel 2025 with its unique qualifying format. Out of the 50 spots up for grabs, 25 will be earned through performance, allocated across gender and age groups. Each age category will secure at least one spot, ensuring fair representation. Winners can roll down spots if declined.


The remaining 25 slots will be randomly drawn from finishers of the 160 km course. This partnership with Flanders Classics marks Unbound Gravel's first European qualifying event, expanding accessibility and attracting a wider international audience.


Unbound Gravel has evolved from humble beginnings into the world's premier gravel race, boasting various distances and drawing both amateurs and elite cyclists. Names like Keegan Swenson and Lachlan Morton have graced its challenging routes, making it a highlight in the Life Time Grand Prix series.


Heathland Gravel Event Overview


The demand for Unbound has necessitated a lottery system, but the Heathland Gravel partnership offers an alternate route for entry, fostering greater diversity among participants and enhancing the event's global appeal.


Heathland Gravel, set against the backdrop of the Maasmechelen mine shaft, embraces the burgeoning gravel racing scene in Europe. Its debut as the first Unbound Gravel qualifying event signifies the sport's growing popularity across the continent.


While the festival offers 70 km and 110 km courses, only participants in the 160 km race stand a chance to qualify for Unbound. Beyond the race, attendees can indulge in an array of festivities including an expo, social rides, and live entertainment.


The collaboration between Heathland Gravel and Flanders Classics aims to create an unparalleled experience akin to the iconic Kona in Hawaii for triathletes. With registration priced at just $86 USD (around 80 Euros), the 160 km race presents a compelling opportunity for gravel enthusiasts.


Given the immense interest in Unbound, spots in the qualifying race are expected to fill up quickly. If a trip to Belgium is on your horizon this summer, seizing the chance to qualify for Unbound at Heathland Gravel might just make it an unforgettable journey.

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