The Italian and the American pulverized The Traka 360K’S record
Girona gathered two thousand gravel lovers to open the curtain on the Gravel Earth Series

After long and hard months, Klassmark‘s new project is now a reality. The Traka was the stage chosen to open the curtain of the Gravel Earth Series; the new international gravel circuit that was born with the ambition to maintain the essence of a sport where its values must prevail over any competition. What happened this week in Girona is the best example. Two thousand riders of sixty nationalities took part in the great gravel festival in Europe. The week from April 24 to 30 was full of activities that landed in a weekend of scandal where the Italian Mattia de Marchi and the American Amity Rockwell shone. Both broke the record of The Traka 360K, the star event of a competition that had four proposals for all tastes and levels. The 2023 gave us several unique and iconic moments that are already part of the history of one of the most important events on the planet.

After its appearance in 2021, The Traka dates from 2019, the 360K distance has become the most mediatic of the event. A circular route of 360 degrees that runs through the most important natural points of interest of the province of Girona during 367 kilometers with 5000 meters of positive gain. A territory where Mattia de Marchi reigned and wanted to continue reigning. The transalpine took the start, on Saturday April 29 at six in the morning, determined to seek the third victory in three editions. Cyclists from all corners of the globe were there to challenge him for the throne, but the king is still the king. The Italian put on an exhibition to win in style. He broke away alone at the end of the first third of the race to fly to the finish line in Girona. It was time for betting: would Mattia de Marchi be able to go under thirteen hours? The answer was yes. De Marchi is the only human being to have broken the barrier. The new time to beat: 12h55m42s.

Switzerland’s Nils Correvon, Denmark’s Tobias Morch and the Netherlands’ Diederik Deelen were the other main contenders for the crown. After Mattia de Marchi’s first attack, the three collaborated in the group behind to stay in the fight. However, the passing of the kilometers corroborated that their fight was for the podium. With Nils Correvon out of options, Tobias Morch and Diederik Deelen gave us a heart-stopping finish where a final sprint tipped the balance in favor of the former. In fifth place was the local hero David Coma, who rightfully entered the picture of the world’s gravel elite.

Amity Rockwell was the other great protagonist of The Traka 360K. The American landed in Girona as one of the favorites, but there were many candidates for the final glory. Among them, her compatriot Sarah Sturm. Both moved their duel to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, but there was less fight than desired. Sturm did not find her best sensations, but her talent is unquestionable, and she returns home with a meritorious second position. Ahead, Rockwell was unleashed and smashed the record by more than an hour to leave the new record in 15h01m02s. Girona has a new queen. The podium was completed by an amazing Emma Porter. The Irish, who lives in the city, showed a superlative competitive level and was acclaimed by the local public. She is ready to dream. Amira Mellor and Maddy Nutt, both from Great Britain, came in fourth and fifth to close out the places of honor.

The Traka 200K challenge, which started an hour later than its big sister, left us an image for history: Paul Voss with the bike on his back after 202 kilometers with 2000 meters of positive gain. The German got a flat tire in the last kilometers, but continued pedaling on his way to victory, or rather, running. The tire ended up bursting and he had to carry the bike during the last kilometer to cross the finish line in 6h02m00s. No words. The chasing group ended up coming in at five minutes, but Voss had no references after riding solo for much of the race. There was no time to lose. The other places were decided in a sprint. Australian Nathan Haas, second, Canadian Benjamin Perry, third, and Daniel Moreno, fourth, played their cards in the last meters. Fifth place went to the Dutchman Ivar Slik, the previous champion.

On the women’s side, Carolin Schiff also dominated the race with authority, setting the pace from start to finish. The German stopped the clock in 6h43m33s. Her compatriot Svenja Betz was second. The other places were more disputed. Finally, the podium was closed by the Danish Luise Valentin ahead of the British Annabel Fisher. Geertje Schreurs, fifth, could have fought for greater heights, but a puncture prevented her from doing so. Many factors come into play in gravel. Also navigation. It should be remembered that no route of The Traka was marked, being the responsibility of each participant to orient themselves and follow the track using a GPS device.

On Sunday, April 30, it was the turn of the shorter distances. The Traka 100K challenge was also scoring for the Gravel Earth Series. The circuit brings together events with different formats and distances to open the window to the entire international gravel community. The fastest of the 106 kilometers with 1200 meters of positive gain were the Spaniard Oliver Aviles and the Dutch Lorena Wiebes, current European road cycling champion. The former beat Frenchmen Victor Bosoni and Nicolas Reculeau with a time of 3h28m39s. The second did the same against the German Tanja Erath and the French Chloé Schoenenberger after 3h40m51s of effort. The party was completed by the 50K distance and the victories of the Irish Maria Arguello and the Belgian Tomas Everaerts.

After five editions, no one disputes that The Traka is the event of reference in the old continent. Gone is that first edition with a hundred participants. The Traka is much more than four races, it is the opportunity to share your passion with the whole community during the whole week. There is no better scenario to see the birth of the Gravel Earth Series. There will be six countries and six races plus the grand finale of the competition to be held in Cardona, province of Barcelona.

360K MEN
1. Mattia de Marchi (ITA) – 12h55m42s
2. Tobias Mørch (DEN) – 13h08m42s
3. Diederik Deelen (HOL) – 13h08m43s
4. Nils Correvon (SUI) – 13h27m59s
5. David Comas (ESP) – 13h46m25s
6. Sam Andrews (GBR) – 13h49m10s
7. Matteo Fontana (ITA) – 13h54m32s
8. Jesse Yates (SUI) – 13h57m56s
9. Jack Thompson (IRL) – 13h57m57s
10. Ulrich Bartholmös (GER) – 14h01m00s

1. Amity Rockwell (USA) – 15h01m02s
2. Sarah Sturm (USA) – 15h46m04s
3. Emma Porter (IRL) – 16h17m01s
4. Amira Mellor (GBR) – 16h39m33s
5. Madeleine Nutt (GBR) – 16h52m50s
6. Barbara Rieger (GER) – 17h15m36s
7. Sami Sauri (ESP) – 17h16m00s
8. Lydia Iglesias (ESP) – 17h48m17s
9. Anna Kollmann-Suhr (AUS) – 18h36m00s
10. Maria Ossowska (POL) – 18h57m39s

200K MEN
1. Paul Voss (GER) – 6h02m00s
2. Nathan Haas (GER) – 6h07m44s
3. Benjamin Perry (CAN) – 6h07m45
4. Daniel Moreno (ESP) – 6h07m46s
5. Ivar Slik (HOL) – 6h08m09s

1. Carolin Schiff (GER) – 6h43m33s
2. Svenja Betz (GER) – 6h58m45s
3. Luise Valentin (DEN) – 7h09m01s
4. Annabel Fisher (GBR) – 7h13m12s
5. Greetje Schreurs (HOL) – 7h15m33s

100K MEN
1. Oliver Aviles (ESP) – 3h 28m39s
2. Victor Bosoni (FRA) – 3h28m43s
3. Nicolas Reculeau (FRA) – 3h28m50s

1. Lorena Wiebes (HOL) – 3h40m51s
2. Tanja Erath (GER) – 3h52m21s
3. Chloé Schoenenberger (FRA) – 3h56m53s

1. Tomas Everaerts (BEL) – 1h55m34s
2. Kelly Silberberg (USA) – 2h05m19s
3. Manel Hernandez (ESP) – 2h06m35s

1. Maria Arguello (CRC) – 2h11m12s
2. Anne Apfelbeck (GER) – 2h16m55s
3. Roisin Mossop (IRL) – 2h17m12s

All the rankings HERE