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Gralloch UCI Gravel 2024 111km Race Report

On Friday (17th May) I pack the van, popped on the sunglasses and headed to Gatehouse of Fleet in Scotland to race the UCI Gralloch Gravel Race. Once I set up base, I headed to the very impressive event village and I signed on, receiving my timing chip and race numbers. The stage hosted a talk with the pros followed by a rider briefing.

A good night's sleep, a belly full of cereal and rice pudding and I was ready to race. After a quick spin of the legs I headed to the starting area where I lined up in the designated 35-40 age pen.

A short, neutralised section to start then boom, up the first of many climbs. In the moment with fresh legs, adrenaline pumping and great atmosphere I went off a bit quick which I paid for later on in the race. After last year's puncture issues, I took descents a little bit steadier than normal which seemed to pay off as I had no mechanical issues throughout the race. I kept pushing on the pedals and fuelled what I thought was going to keep me going strong throughout. I rode with a number of small groups but found going at my own pace at times was a better approach as I wasn't tempted to push too hard. My lack of training for such event was always in the back of my mind and knew I was going to start suffering. At the 75km mark I had a lack of energy but thankfully the legs came back 5km later with the help of a group that dragged me to the feed zone at 87km point. I topped up the water bottle and squeezed a few oranges down my neck which was a refreshing change to gels etc. Around 100km we hit some tarmac, oooooh buttery smooth tarmac mmmmmm. Thankfully it was pretty much all downhill to the finish which would normally mean cranking over the pedals and powering to the line...... not this time. Every small group that went past my brain said get on the back and hold on, my legs said, no thanks I'm cooked .

I cruised over the line knowing I probably hadn't done enough to qualify for Worlds but I was happy with my effort non the less. The atmosphere at the finish was fantastic but unfortunately I couldn't enjoy it as my stomach was feeling dodgy after all the energy food..... definitely need to change my fueling strategy for future events.

A quick shower, lie down, curry and rice and I felt more human. It was great to catch up with other racers, in particular some guys from my hometown in Cumbria who I spent the evening drinking a few ciders with whilst listening to the live band. Overall, it was a fantastic event and happy with my effort considering not getting the training in I had planned when entering the event. I would thoroughly recommend this event to anyone who wants to battle it out on the fabulous gravel tracks the area has to offer.

I finished in a time of 4hrs 12mins 48/113 in 35-40 category. There was a total of nearly 2000 riders from all around the world raced.

Finally a big thanks to BRC as I'm utilising the great offer of 3 free race entries that will hopefully encourage more people in the club to pin a number on.

Peace out.

Chapeau Michael Newton for the result, the report and for representing BRC in such a prestigious series.

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1 Comment

David kirkby
David kirkby
May 25

Great effort well done 👍

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