Bongabon in the Philippines proved to be a wonderful pick for the first ever UCI Gravel World series event. The local riding culture is growing at a fast pace and the surroundings are breathtaking.
The organizers designed a challenging 85km course, featuring a grueling climb in the first ten kilometers (steepest part 32%). During the course recon Rick failed to ride up this steep part, the adrenaline of race day however gave the extra push to ride all the way! After the climb a group of three including Rick rode off the front for the rest of the race, working together through gravel sections, irrigation canals and river crossings. Rick waited till the very last kilometer to break away and cross the finish-line for a solo win in the first ever UCI Gravel World Series event.
The atmosphere around the start/finish village was electric. It is a special feeling when hundreds of people from all backgrounds and riding levels participate in the same event which is the beauty and power of gravel riding! Exploring backroads and rural terrain while connecting with people.
The UCI calendar features twelve events plus a world championship! Rick qualified for the world championship and will race other gravel series events in Sweden and the Netherlands, while also discovering the roads of his temporary home country of India.