One of the topics of discussion during the first season of the Groadio podcast was that although there is no governing body or official series for the gravel discipline, there was a semblance of a de facto national series that many of the sport’s big names seemed to race.
During one episode—no, I am not going to go back and find which one; as a newly minted hobby-blogger, I no longer have to trifle myself with things such as “accuracy”— curious newb Bill Schieken declared there would be an OFFICIAL Groadio National Calendar in 2020.
In the interim, a number of folks released versions of their own national calendars or at least big events you wish you could do but probably cannot because they are sold out. That’s cool, and if it wasn’t for cyclocross season, we probably would have had our BIG CALENDAR EPISODE out before mid-February to follow the trend. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Most of the credit for nailing down the final OFFICIAL Groadio National Calendar goes to co-host Amanda Nauman. Calling on her experience as a noted gravel rider who has raced—and won— many of the best events, she captured the zeitgeist of the latest YEAR OF GRAVEL and penciled in the outline of this year’s calendar.
Some of the questions we then addressed included: How many events? When does GRVL season start? When does GRVL season end? What about international events?
Factors that played into the final OFFICIAL 2020 National Calendar included excluding first-year events (sorry Big Sugar) and trying to achieve a good sampling of the many ecoregions of gravel found across the country. We also decided that GRVL season official starts in March with the Mid South that takes place on March 14 this year, and it ends with Rebecca’s Private Idaho in early September.
Were those events chosen because Mid South is at the end of the current cyclocross season and Rebecca’s Private Idaho takes place at the start of next cyclocross season? Those are questions we will never know the answers to.
After some negotiating, stanning for personal favorites, and horse-trading, we ended up with an OFFICIAL Groadio National Calendar featuring 10 races that span Vermont to SoCal, near sea level to over 2 miles in the air, 40ish miles to over 200. Ten events was not per se intentional, but it seems to have worked out well enough.
For the unveiling of the OFFICIAL 2020 Groadio National Calendar and accompanying commentary, you can tune into Episode 11 of the Groadio podcast via the WideAnglePodium website or your favorite podcast outlet.
For posterity’s sake, the OFFICIAL 2020 Groadio National Calendar is below.
Race 1: Mid South
Date: Saturday, March 14
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Race 2: Barry-Roubaix
Date: Saturday, April 18
Location: Hastings, Michigan
Race 3: Rasputitsa
Date: Saturday, April 18
Location: Burke, Vermont
Race 4: Belgian Waffle Ride
Date: Sunday, May 3
Location: San Marcos, California
Race 5: Dirty Kanza 200
Date: Saturday, May 31
Location: Emporia, Kansas
Race 6: Lost and Found
Date: Saturday, June 6
Location: Portola, California
Race 7: Crusher in the Tushar
Date: Saturday, July 11
Location: Beaver, Utah
Race 8: SBT GRVL
Date: Sunday, August 16
Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Race 9: Gravel Worlds
Date: Saturday, August 22
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Race 10: Rebecca’s Private Idaho
Dates: Thursday, Sept. 3 to Sunday, Sept. 6
Location: Sun Valley, Idaho