Two thousand athletes of 60 nationalities will gather in Girona to inaugurate the new international gravel circuit
Sarah Sturm, Ivan García Cortina and Mattia de Marchi, among the all-star cast of TheTraka

Gone is that first edition of 2019, when Klassmark brought together a hundred visionaries in Girona to lay the first stone of The Traka with the hope of building a great castle. They did it, doubling the numbers year after year. A splendor that extended throughout the entire globe. Gravel continued to conquer territories and TheTraka catapulted Girona as the great gravel fortress of the old continent. The figures for 2023 speak for themselves. Two thousand athletes from 60 nationalities will gather in Girona the week of April 26 to 30 to light the fuse for the Gravel Earth Series, the new international gravel circuit. TheTraka is the event chosen to open the curtain on this ambitious project.

The Gravel Earth Series, Klassmark’s great bet, was born with the ambition of maintaining the essence of gravel by bringing together the most genuine and important events on the planet. Six countries and six tests will mark the fate of the first edition. We are talking about the Kenyan Migration, the Icelandic The Rift, the Swiss Octopus, the French Nature is Bike, the Swedish Nordic Gravel from Bergslagen and, of course, The Traka that will lay the foundations of the new world paradigm. The party will be completed by the Earth Final, the grand finale of the event that will be held in Cardona, Barcelona province, and will crown the best cyclists on the circuit on the weekend of September 16 and 17. The final classification will take into account the two best scores plus the result of the Earth Final. However, the values of sport, respect for the environment and love for the territory must prevail above all else.

Three of the four TheTraka challenges will qualify for the GravelEarth Series. The only course left out is the 50K. However, this 50-kilometer itinerary with 700 meters of positive elevation gain is ideal for those participants who want to know what is hidden behind gravel. TheTraka wants to continue gaining followers. We will surely see many of them in the 100K challenge next year. For the present, he draws a 106-kilometre route with 1,200 meters of positive elevation gain that discovers part of the Empordà after a small demanding step through Les Gavarres. The participants of both distances will enter into action on Sunday, April 30, starting at 8:30 a.m. They will do it from the Parque de les Ribes del Ter, next to the Girona-Fontajau sports centre, where the cyclist will find everything he needs. Without having to move around or worry about things. The four proposals for the fifth edition of The Traka are circular circuits starting and finishing in Girona.

Much of the week’s attention will be focused on Saturday, April 29, when the 200K and 360K modalities will be held. The queen test, the 360K, offers the opportunity to explore the most fascinating corners of the province of Girona. We are talking about the Costa Brava, the Serra de la Albera, the Cap de Creus, the Aiguamolls del Empordà, the Montgrí or Les Gavarres, spaces of great natural interest that give life to the 367 kilometers with 5,000 meters of positive gain of the route. The adventure will start at six in the morning and the participants will have 32 hours to make the feat come true. However, the vast majority choose not to stay overnight and contemplate the non-stop challenge. Pure adventure where there are no brands or signaling elements; cyclists must orient themselves using a GPS system.

Talking about TheTraka 360K is talking about Mattia de Marchi. The Italian has been the fastest cyclist in the two editions that have been held, holding the record in 13h17m49s. Repeat experience, but you will not be alone in Girona. He will be accompanied by the Australian Freddy Ovett, the Germans Sebastian Breuer and Ulrich Bartholmoes, the Dutch Piotr Havik and Diederik Deelen or the Irish Nicholas Roche. Luis Angel Maté or Alberto Losada will be the local hopes. Female representation will also be stellar with North Americans Sarah Sturm and Amity Rockwell leading the list. Also appearing in it are the Polish Maria Ossowska, the Italian AsjaPaladin and Virginia Cancellieri, the British Maddy Nutt and Amira Mellor, the Austrian Anna Kollman and the Irish Emma Porter. The national options go through the legs of Lydia Iglesias, Alba Xandri or Sami Sauri. In the spotlight 16h26m06s, the record owned by Olivia Dillon.

On Saturday we will also see the start, at 7 o’clock, and the outcome of the 200K challenge. A 202-kilometer test with 2,000 meters of elevation gain that follows part of the itinerary of its older sister and will bring together a good part of TheTraka’s cast of stars. In the women’s battle, names such as the German Carolin Schiff and Svenja Betz, the American Morgan Aguirre, the Icelandic Maria Gudmundsdottir, the British Halley Simmonds, Annabel Fisher or Leah Dixon, the Belgian Isabelle Beckers, the Ugandan Mary Aleper, the Italian Eleonora Milesi or the Danish Josefine Huitfeldt or the Spanish Ana Dillana. On the men’s side, the champion Ivar Slik repeats. The Dutchman will be accompanied by the Spanish Daniel Moreno, the Australian Nathan Haas, the Germans Paul Voss and Janosch Wintermantel or the Italian Francesco Bettini. The list of favorites could be endless because nobody wants to give up the glory of TheTraka.

The city of Girona is ready to open its doors, once again, to the international gravel community; six out of ten participants are foreigners. The Traka has become a meeting point for all lovers of this sport. The activities will extend throughout the week with multiple social outings, different challenges, such as the climb to the Sant Miquel Castle, and the presentation of the GravelEarth Series; as well as that of the favourites for the final victory TheTraka. Endless possibilities that will lead to a weekend of scandal. The best roads and tracks await all participants to offer the purest and most authentic gravel experience and adventure. TheTraka is the greatest exponent of gravel in a city classified as the world capital of cycling.