Race 1 of the new Gravel Earth Series: Paul Voß wins despite flat tire

Gravel Racing goes professional! Whether that is something positive or not, that is not the issue of this article. We report here from the first race of the Gravel Earth Series in Girona, which Paul Voss won despite some obstacles!

The Gravel Earth Series

The Gravel Earth Series is a series of professionally hosted gravel events with seven stops in 2023:

April 29-20: “The Traka” in Girona/Spain
June 16-18: “Nature is Bike Gravel Festival” in France
June 20-23: “Migration Gravel Race” in Kenya
July 1: “Octopus” in Switzerland
July 22: “The Rift” in Iceland
August 12: “Nordic Gravel Series” in Bergslagen/Sweden
16/17 September: “Gravel Earth Series Final” in Spain

The Gravel Earth Series is a professionally organized gravel event with a well-staffed field of participants. With the exception of the race in Kenya, all races of the Gravel Earth Series take place on European soil. The organizer emphasizes his great love and passion for the sport and his focus on making the events as sustainable as possible. Here you can find more information about the series. We have also entered the individual dates in our Gravel diary – maybe you find one for your next gravel holiday!

Start of the first race of the new gravel earth series in girona.
Start of the first race of the new Gravel Earth Series in Girona.

Gravel Earth Series #1 in Girona: Paul Voss wins opening race

Girona is considered one of the cycling meccas and is a popular destination for extensive training trips, not only among professionals. When we went to Africa by bike and train, we made a stop in Girona on the way back and can confirm: Here you breathe cycling air in every corner. And: Here you can ride really nice gravel tours! So it’s no wonder that Paul was keen on this race and even had set his sights high, as he reports:

“For me, a good result at this race was one of my goals in the first part of my season. I had prepared well and had a plan for the race. I wanted to start fast in the technically demanding first part, but not overdo it. In the difficult middle section with the long climb, I wanted to attack and play to my strengths. That worked out very well and I was able to break away about 80 kilometers before the finish. Apart from a stone that I hit stupidly, it was a really good race and I am very satisfied,” said Voß. “The fact that my colleague and podcast partner Carolin Schiff was able to win again in the women’s category makes the day perfect,” said Voß.

Pure sun and dust-dry gravel: that's what you get in girona at the end of april. A good place for the first race of the gravel earth series. Photo: nils laengner
Pure sun and dust-dry gravel: that’s what you get in Girona at the end of April. A good place for the first race of the Gravel Earth Series. Photo: Nils Laengner

Victory with obstacles: Running out of air at the end

However, it didn’t go quite as smoothly, even if the result was absolutely perfect: “On a stony single trail, I hit a stone very unfortunately and damaged my rim and tire. Then, of course, at some point the rear wheel completely fell apart and I shouldered the bike. I knew I had a small lead, but still just ran as fast as I could and at the finish I was of course happy that it was enough.”

So there was a bit of tension: Paul covered the last of the 200 kilometers on foot and still managed to win by five minutes over Nathan Haas and Benjamin Perry. Paul thinks: A thoroughly successful start to the new “Gravel Earth Series” racing series. Six events are part of the international Gravel Series, with a finale scheduled for September.

Outlook: Paul Voss at the 3Rides Festival in Aachen, Germany

By the way: If you feel like meeting Paul live, there will soon be a great opportunity to do so in Germany: On May 13, 2023, he will take part in the fifth round of the UCI Gravel World Series in Aachen as part of the 3Rides Festival.

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