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Iloniemi pelto ja järvimaisema. Image Visit Jyväskylä Region
Gravel cycling is currently one of the fastest-growing cycling subtypes in the world. Its first World Championships took place in Italy in the autumn of 2022, with the first-ever Nordic (including the Baltic Countries) and Finnish Gravel Championships following suit in Jyväskylä in July 2023.

The Nordic Cycling Union (NCU) awarded the right to organise the event to Nordic Gravel Series who wanted to bring the event to Jyväskylä, the Capital of Sports.  The championship races will take place on Saturday, July 29 in the following four categories: under 23-year-olds (U23), Elite, over 40-year-olds (M/W 40), and over 50-year-olds (M/W 50). This means that all four are open for men and women alike. In addition, there will be an open class with no competition license required. Chances are that international competitors from beyond the Nordic and Baltic Countries will also attend the open-class event.

The 170-km route will be traced on the famously challenging gravel roads around Jyväskylä. The hilly terrain will feature about 2,800m of uphill stretches.  The gravel and forest roads will account for over 90% of the route. A Finnish championship in the Elite class translates as a valuable right to participate in the Gravel Biking World Championships in Italy in October 2023.  

A laid-back culture of communality is part and parcel of what gravel cycling is all about. This is why, apart from the championship races, there are also 170-km, 110-km, and 60km routes with a low threshold of participation that one can embark on without a number.  The start and finish of the event will be at Hotel Alba in Mattilanniemi.

A communal race event with local flavours

The Gravel event will be an all-weekend festival with much else to discover apart from cycling itself. The products, services, and experiences provided by local enterprises are an important part of the event experience. On Friday, there will be e.g. a Warmup Ride followed by local special juice on offer. The Saturday races will culminate in a post-race party featuring an array of quality offerings by regional enterprises including bespoke products and a laid-back programme in keeping with the spirit of the event.
“It is an excellent thing for the city to get a race and tour event of a new budding sport in which our beautiful nature and scenery are put to good use in a sustainable way. It is also a pleasure to see how local enterprises are engaged to contribute as service providers so that we can offer visitors a distinctive and characteristic event experience in Jyväskylä”, says Taija Lappeteläinen by way of comment in her quality of manager of the International Sport Events at Jyväskylä project. 

Registration for the Nordic Gravel Series has started. Find out more about the event and register here.

The Jyväskylä region offers one of the best gravel road networks in Finland. Surrounded by breathtaking lakeland nature and four national parks, it is a great setting for a summer gravel event. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Alvar Aalto architecture, and the title of Sauna Region of the World contribute to make this an unforgettable experience for domestic and foreign visitors alike. For more: Visit Jyväskylä Region.

More information:
Maarten Patteeuw, Breakaway cc, Partnerships & Events, +358 40 750 15 67, (event organiser)
Sari Puumala, +358 40 520 7736, (route planning)
Taija Lappeteläinen, project manager, International Sport Events at Jyväskylä, +358 40 523 9321, taija.lappetelainen[at]

Photo: Visit Jyväskylä Region

More information: Taija Lappeteläinen, project manager, International Sport Events at Jyväskylä +358 40 523 9321, taija.lappetelainen[at]