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Oregon Trail Named Top 10 Must-Do US Gravel Races in 2024 By Global Cycling Network

From Arizona to Oklahoma and everywhere in between, we looked high and low for the best US gravel races – here are 10 we believe you should check out

09:53, Wednesday 22nd November 2023 Logan Jones-Wilkins, Junior Writer - North America

The United States is the heartland of gravel, and has very much been the epicentre of the discipline's enormous growth in recent years. There has been an explosion of events in the US, but a select few have truly captured the imagination of gravel racers and riders alike. To sort through the countless races that dot the country, we are starting with the top, identifying 10 of the races that have proven to be the best around. If you're interested in gravel racing these are the 10 that you should follow, or who knows, maybe even enter. From the Great Plains of the United States, with the rolling hills, mud and wind that create hard endurance tests, to the technical races of the Southwest that demand handling skills well beyond that of a road race, the 10 races on the list all provide a unique experience and landscape to test oneself. While this list is not exhaustive, we have selected 10 races that you should look into, and perhaps even attend yourself, in 2024.


Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder (OTG) – June 26-30

The Oregon Gravel Grinder is a breathtaking lap through some of the most diverse ecology in the United States

Location: Sisters, Oregon

Distances: 350 miles (30,000 feet) over five days

Website: Oregon Trail

Registration: $1,200, spots available

Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder will be in its fifth edition in 2024, but its first as a stop in the Gravel Earth Series. With this added emphasis, expect some big names to come to the premiere American gravel stage race.

Consisting of five point-to-point stages, with a travelling campsite provided for every rider, the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder is a gravel summer camp. Every tough day of racing is followed by a leisurely evening of lounging by creeks and campfires, eating freshly cooked dinners while making fast friends with your fellow travellers.

Since it is a stage race, the distances are much more manageable, with days ranging from 40 miles to the 90-mile queen stage. However, what it lacks in daily distance it makes up for in beauty and difficulty. The race circum-navigates the Cascade mountains of central Oregon, offering every rider the chance to test themselves on hour-long climbs, high-desert sand and lush temperate forest descents.

While the five days of racing, meals and logistical support come with a decent price tag, it is a unique race that meets a niche in the American gravel calendar.

Tech tip: Let's talk about the camping. At the race, everyone gets one bin and the option to get a tent provided for you by the organisation. If you have your own tent, you are welcome to use it, but then it has to fit in your bin, along with a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, nutrition and spare kit. There is also the option to bring a spare set of wheels, with each day offering a distinct terrain challenge.


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