It is not just the sealed roads around South Australia that will host racing this January with the Tour Down Under, but there is company with a new gravel race, RADL GRVL, set to take place.
The event is co- founded by pro cyclist Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM), F1 driver Valterri Bottas along with GRVL Events, organisers of SBT GRVL in Colorado and FNLD GRVL in Finland. RADL GRVL will run from January 18 to January 20, with the pro races on the 19th unfolding while the men’s WorldTour race is underway. There is a $10,000 AUD prize purse split evenly between the top three pro men and women.
“I’ve spent years racing professionally, and the unpaved roads around my hometown of Adelaide are the reason I fell in love with gravel cycling,” Cromwell said. “I’m looking forward to bringing RADL GRVL to McLaren Vale at Santos Tour Down Under this January and showing riders from around Australia and beyond what makes the riding, scenery, and hospitality in South Australia so special.”
South Australia has a wealth of scenic gravel roads to choose from ranging from winding tracks in the Adelaide hills, to sandy coastal routes and long trails cutting through the forest.
After an informal shake-out ride on January 19, the competitive divisions of RADL GRVL take off on Friday through the region of McLaren Vale across the gravel roads of South Australian wine country. Saturday a post-race shake-down ride will begin at the Santos Tour Down Under Village and finish with a watch party on Willunga Hill for the stage 5 of the Tour Down Under.
RADL GRVL is the second event where GRVL Events have partnered with Women’s WorldTour professional and regular gravel racer Cromwell and her partner Bottas. They both competed at 2022 SBT GRVL, where Cromwell won the women’s division on the 100-mile blue course women’s division and Bottas won his age category on the red course, 60 miles.
Together they launched FNLD GRVL in Lahti, Finland this year, which delivered a strong field, including Unbound Gravel 200 women’s winner Carolin Schiff and second-placed men’s rider Petr Vakoc. Cromwell won the women’s race while Trek-Segafredo rider Toms Skujins won the men’s race.
“Last June I had the chance to introduce the gravel cycling community to the riding around my hometown of Lahti, Finland at FNLD GRVL, and this year I’m excited that Tiffany gets to do the same around her backyard of South Australia,” Bottas said.
“I’ve enjoyed some very memorable gravel rides around…