Race Report from Chloe Watson-Hill:
The Gralloch was the first UCI Gravel World Series event to be hosted in Britain. The route was based in Dumfries & Galloway, in southwest Scotland. The total distance was 113km with around 1,800m of elevation, a big chunk of which was in the first 30km or so.
Given it was a UCI event, I headed off in the women’s race at 11am while the senior men’s race began at 11:40am. We knew it would be tough going given the impressive start lists. I lined up alongside Tiffany Cromwell (the ultimate winner of the women’s race) and other pros, while Paul had the likes of Connor Swift (the men’s winner), Nathan Hass and Alex Dowsett!!
While we previously raced Strade Bianche earlier this year, which is really a road race with gravel sections, The Gralloch was very much an off road event and the course included very technical gravel of all kinds. Happily, the worst mechanical between us was a dropped chain - we had a bomb-proof tyre set up thanks to Adam at the Cog & Sprocket, who also raced.
In the end, I crossed the line a respectable 22nd in my age group, while Paul finished 62nd in his.
Blairgowrie, La Grand Route de St Clement, St Clement, JE2 6QP.