British Gravel Championships - Race Recap - King's Cup Gravel Festival

British Gravel Championships – Race Recap

The inaugural British Gravel Championships at the King’s Cup Gravel Festival got underway early on Sunday morning in the King’s Forest near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Hundreds of the best racers in the country lined up at the start to battle it out for the British Gravel Champion jersey.

The King’s Forest awaited with a 70km mixture of gravel track, grass, sand and woodland trails and 400m of climbing, providing riders with a high-paced, action-packed race route.

The 19-34 Men’s field impressed with a stellar line-up of riders including Ryan Christensen and Euan Macleod of Canyon dhb SunGod, double Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee, Cameron Mason of Trinity Racing and many more. Spectators were in for a thrilling race, as Christensen, Brownlee and Mason broke away from the leading pack just after the Strava sprint segment on the second of three laps.

The trio set a blistering pace as they raced towards the finish. Mason led the group down the penultimate straight, but Christensen (NZL) attacked into the final corner, taking the inside line and racing home to take the race win. Mason ran out of space on the outside of the turn and Brownlee snuck through to come home second for the race and first British rider and therefore securing the British Gravel Champion jersey.

A 19-34 Women’s field packed with talent provided another exciting highlight for spectators. The field comprised of former UCI Women’s Tour rider Hannah Payton now of Team Spectra, UCI World Cup Glasgow 2016 – Team Pursuit & Madison champion Manon Lloyd, Amy Roberts also of Team Spectra and Ruth Astle Ironman World Championships 2019 age category winner.

Astle attacked on the Strava Sprint Segment on the first of three laps and then put on a stellar performance to open a commanding lead. India Lee in second and Danielle Shrosbree in third couldn’t follow the pace. Astle powered on and opened a near 5-minute gap seeing her become the inaugural British Gravel Champion.

Further age category winners included Jason Bouttell (35-39M), Helen Ralston (35-39W), Mathew Bottrill (40-44M), Laura Massey (40-44W), Steve Calland (45-49M), Karen Price (45-49W), Andrew Rigg (50-54M), Julie Bratton (50-54W), Graham Baxter (55-59M), Aisling Baird (55-59W), Brian Williamson (60-64M), Janet Burthem (60-64W), Nigel Herrod (65-69M), David Mcmullen (70+M)

Malcolm Smith, Golazo Cycling (event organiser) Director says “we’re absolutely stoked to see the thrilling racing on show this weekend. The start lists throughout all of the age categories were stacked with some of the best riders in the country and we’re thrilled by their support and positive feedback on the event and race format. 

I extend many congratulations to Ruth and Alistair along with all of the other age category winners and wish them a fantastic year of riding in the British Gravel Champion jersey. Our gratitude also goes out to our presenting partner Canyon and headline partners Strava, Bioracer, POC, HIGH5 and Muc-Off along with our many other event partners for their support in making this historic event a reality”.

King’s Cup race commentator David Reeve said “seldom have I worked on an event with such an astonishing array of talent in its first year, world champions, national champions, world cup winners, professional riders and a double Olympic gold medallist gave the crowd thrilling racing across all the age categories. When you have athletes of the quality of Alistair Brownlee giving 100% effort to become British Champion, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ve concocted the formula of the perfect gravel race. The King’s Cup is here to stay”.

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Partners

Our riding partner: Strava

We’re excited to say that the renowned POC is our helmet and eyewear partner! POC will be integral to the King’s Cup experience, providing you with some exclusive opportunities throughout the weekend.

Partners

Our headline partner: Muc-Off

We’re excited to say that the innovative Muc-Off is one of our headline partners! Muc-Off will be integral to your King’s Cup experience, so let’s find out more about them! We’ll let them take it away…

Partners

Our helmet and eyewear partner: POC

We’re excited to say that the renowned POC is our helmet and eyewear partner! POC will be integral to the King’s Cup experience, providing you with some exclusive opportunities throughout the weekend.

Partners

Our official kit partner: Bioracer

We’re excited to say that the world-famous Bioracer is our official kit partner! Bioracer will be integral to the King’s Cup experience, as the official designers of the British Gravel Champion jerseys.