The week dawned with the weather looking for the limelight. The rain left the terrain muddy and full of water; at any junction a creek could appear. It was time to activate plan B for The Traka. Klassmark decided to suspend the Adventure distance, scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, to ensure the safety and integrity of all participants. It was time to focus all energy on The Traka 360. The management team worked hard on the ground, slightly modifying the course to avoid the riverbeds. The 3200 athletes of 77 nationalities that disembarked in Girona could not miss the party of the biggest gravel event in Europe and one of the referents at international level.

Peter Stetina succeeds Mattia de Marchi on the throne of The Traka 360K

Karolina Migon takes a thrilling duel against Geerike Schreurs

The history has dictated that the The Traka 360K is the distance par excellence in Girona. The challenge started on Friday 3rd May at seven in the morning. The new track, 345 kilometers with 3200 meters of positive gain, was a little shorter than the original, but still discovered why Girona is catalogued as a gravel paradise. At the start line was the King, Mattia de Marchi, who took the start with the ambition of achieving the fourth crown in four editions. The Italian was one of the great protagonists until he broke the gearbox of his bike and said goodbye to his hegemony in The Traka.

The men’s deck was not broken until the decisive stretch. The climb of Els Metges at kilometer 260 changed everything. Joining De Marchi at the foot of the climb were the Americans Chad Haga and Peter Stetina, the French Alexys Brunel, the Italian Matteo Fontana, the Australian Freddy Ovett, the Canadian Rob Brittonand the Norwegian Simen Nordahl Svendsen. Up to that point, The Traka 360K had always been led by a group, with more or less alternatives at the front; but Mattia de Marchi said enough was enough. The Italian went to the front to set a devastating pace that was dropping all his rivals. He even managed to sentence Peter Stetina and Rob Britton, but they rejoined on the descent. When the podium seemed to be a matter of three, De Marchi was knocked out of the race by the mechanical misfortune.

The glory was reserved for an American or a Canadian. Everything pointed to a sprint finish, when Peter Stetina took advantage of one of the last slopes to give the final blow. The American returned the applause of the public with a bow, crossing the finish line in 11h42m23s; just 17 seconds ahead of the Rob Britton. The resolution of the podium also had an unexpected end in store for us. Norwegian Simen Nordahl Svendsen was pedaling towards the third position when a fall in the last kilometer got in his way; American Chad Haga would eventually catch him at the last gasp. The Danish Tobias Morch Kongstad closed the Top5.

On the women’s side, the 260th kilometer climb was also key; this is the point where the victory is usually decided. This time the list of candidates was reduced to two. The Polish Karolina Migon and the Dutch Geerike Schreurshad shown that they were the two strongest athletes of the day, but after sharing kilometers and hours on the bike, the moment of truth arrived. There, Migon’s unleashed figure emerged to sign a historic victory after 12h38m51s of effort. Behind, the American Sarah Sturm always remained in the places of honor to close the podium. The Top5 also counted with the presence of the British Dannielle Shrosbree and the Danish Luise Valentin. The level of The Traka is breathtaking.

It was an atypical The Traka 360. The mud and water created a scenario with an even more epic touch. This edition will remain engraved in the memory of all participants. Many of them have focused their goals this year in the Gravel Earth Series, a circuit that was born with the intention of maintaining the essence and values of this sport. 20 challenges in 13 countries, where The Traka is one of the great standard bearers of the project. The 200K and 360K distance receive the highest possible distinction, the Gravel Earth Global. A victory in Girona justifies a whole season.

Carolin Schiff successfully defends the crown of The Traka 200K

Petr Vakoc wins after a heart-stopping finish in Girona

After the storm comes the calm. The rest of the distances, held during the weekend, were disputed under a radiant sun. Evidently, the aftermath of the storms remained on the terrain, but after the necessary readjustments, the organization stopped looking at the sky with fear. On Saturday 4th May at seven in the morning, it was time for The Traka 200K. The other star distance on the program totaled 194 kilometers with 2300 meters of positive gain. The number of candidates was infinite, with many athletes opting for the final glory. It was difficult to make a prediction in the face of the avalanche of cycling’s top athletes that congregated in Girona, but Carolin Schiff reminded us who rules the city.

The German took the start to defend her crown. She did not speculate and showed her ambition from the first kilometer. However, she met resistance from the Danish Klara Sofie Skovgard. Both were the great protagonists of the day, but in the third part of the route, Schiff took the lead alone and did not let go of it. 6h46m16s to add the second consecutive victory in Girona. Her compatriot Rosa Maria Kloser closed the podium, with the Swedish Hanna Johansson and the American Heather Fischer closing the Top5.

The men’s battle had many more alternatives, with a big group at the front; up to nine participants passed together through the timing control at kilometer 153. No one managed to break the group, but in the last kilometers it was losing pieces little by little. Three cyclists entered the Parc de les Ribes del Ter, the start and finish point of the event, with a chance of victory. The sprint was won by Frederik Rassman, but a five-minute penalty kept him away from victory. The regulations make it clear that assistance cannot be received outside the established points, and the German did not comply with the rules.

With this new scenario, it was the Czech Petr Vakoc who climbed to the top of the podium with a time of 6h07m08s. The Dutch Jasper Ockeloen and the Swiss Johan Jacobs were second and third, with the Danish Asbjorn Hellemose and the Dutch Hans Becking in fourth and fifth positions. The top five were separated by only 28 seconds; crazy final.

Behind us we have left the best gravel week of the year. Not even the rain of the first days could interfere in a party that ended under a radiant sun. The city of Girona brought together the entire community of a sport that is here to stay. Klassmark worked hard to ensure that each of its participants returned home witth unforgettable memories. It’s not every day you have the opportunity to share the passion of gravel with all the lovers of this sport from all corners of the earth. Now it’s time to think about tomorrow or, what is the same thing, The Traka 2025.

1. Peter Stetina (USA) / American Gravel Mafia – 11h42m23s
2. Rob Britton (CAN) / Factor Overland – 11h42m40s
3. Chad Haga (USA) / The Hagasaki Cycling – 11h57m38s
4. Simen Nordahl Svendsen (NOR) / Pas Racing – 11h58m04s
5. Tobias Morch Kongstad (DEN) / Pas Racing – 11h59m46s
6. Alexys Brunel (FRA) / Groove Gravel – 12h05m00s
7. Griffin Easter (USA) / Opicure Foundation – 12h08m02s
8. Nils Correvon (SUI) / Pas Racing – 12h19m11s
9. Ole Bjorn Smisethjell (NOR) / Reser Molde – 12m19m21s
10. Matteo Fontana (ITA) – 12h19m56s

1. Karolina Migon (POL) / Pas Racing – 12h38m51s
2. Geerike Schreurs (NED) / SD Worx – 13h01m00s
3. Sarah Sturm (USA) / Specialized SRAM Rapha – 13h05m43s
4. Danielle Shrosbree (GBR) / Privateer – 13h35m32s
5. Luise Valentin (DEN) – 13h35m57s
6. Svenja Betz (GER) / Reverb Cycling – 13h45m37s
7. Amity Rockwell (USA) / Pas Racing – 13h56m51s
8. Madeleine Nutt (GBR) / Ribble Collective – 14h15m33s
9. Sofia Schugar (USA) / Racing Homers – 14h18m55s
10. Cynthia Carson (USA) – 14h27m38s

1. Petr Vakoc (CZE) / Canyon Integray – 6h07m08s
2. Jasper Ockeloen (NED) – 6h07m10s
3. Jacobs Johan (SUI) / Movistar Team – 6h07m26s
4. Asbjorn Hellemose (DEN) / Swatt Club – 6h07m35s
5. Hans Becking (NED) / Buff Megamo – 6h07m36s
6. Josh Brunett (NZL) / Mitoq NZ – 6h08m38s
7. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) / Personal team with Isadore – 6h08m43s
8. Luis Neff (GER) / Rose Racing – 6h08m47s
9. Benjamin Perry (CAN) / Groove Gravel – 6h09m09s
10. Ryan Christensen (NZL) / Rule28 Pro Racing – 6h10m24s

1. Carolin Schiff (GER) / Canyon CLLCTV – 6h46m16s
2. Klara Sofie Skovgard (DEN) / Pas Racing – 6h55m33s
3. Rosa Maria Kloser (GER) / Maap Gravel – 7h09m33s
4. Hanna Johansson (SWE) / Rule x WMNGRVL – 7h15m01s
5. Heather Fischer (USA) / DNA Pro Cycling – 7h16m59s
6. Jade Treffeisen (GER) / Canyon CLLCTV – 7h23m26s
7. Anna Gabrielle Traxler (CAN) – 7h26m31s
8. Mie Pedersen (DEN) / Pas Racing – 7h29m13s
9. Ellen Campbell (USA) / Specialized Rapha Tailwind – 7h32m20s
10. Maja Johansson (SWE) / Rule x WMNGRVL – 7h33m12s