Upcoming monumental events in Northern Italy and the US will see gravel riders – and Campagnolo’s 13-speed Ekar groupset – dig deep for ever-lasting cycling memories.
The popularity of gravel cycling continues to grow around the world, whether that’s on the WorldTour and the Giro d’Italia recently visiting the dusty white roads of Strade Bianche, recreational riders bikepacking across the US or the growing number of gravel events.
Campagnolo’s adding reliability and confidence to each and every one of these journeys with the 13-speed Ekar groupset, including the upcoming Jeroboam 300 in Italy, regarded as one of the toughest gravel events around.
JEROBOAM 300 Altopiano Gravel Challenge
The fearsome race takes place between 28-30 May and, as you’d probably hazarded a guess, includes 300km of dirt roads, mule tracks and wild paths. That’s brutal. But not as brutal as the amount of climbing that amounts to 7,000m of quad-busting, lung-squeezing effort. T
his is where the Ekar groupset comes into its own, offering a range of gears that’ll defy and deflect the stones and detritus from riding off the beaten track.
Registration and a hearty meal happens on Friday 28 May before the real Northern Italy adventure starts Saturday morning where entrants will face memorable places like Monte Cengio, Cima Ekar and Monte Cogolin.
Valleys will be negotiated, opening up views that’ll beguile all, before reaching the high mountain roads that are still scarred by memories of the Great War, peppered as they are by huts and shelters between Marcesina and Larici. Riders will have to pedal through much of the night to conquer the Jeroboam 300, and that includes the crew over at Enough Cycling, who’ll be supported by Campagnolo, using the Ekar groupset.
ENOUGH VS JEROBOAM
Enough Cycling is a collective of Italian gravel lovers who compete all around the world.
As their motto says, ‘We are a bunch of crazy people with few things in common. But importantly, we enjoy cycling!’
Enough Cycling’s Mattia De Marchi, Jacopo Lahbi, Asja Paladin, Samuele Nichele and Federico Bassis will do battle with the Jeroboam 300 at Altopiano di Asiago with several of the team coming off the back of victories at another iconic event – The Traka.
The Traka is a mammoth gravel event in Girona in mid-May and comprises four different distances: 60km, 100km, 200km and the behemoth that is the 360km.
Incredibly, Mattia won the 360km event and Asja the 200km version. Will they repeat the feats at the Italian leg of the Jeroboam?
They’ll certainly increase their chances thanks to the efficient and reliable Ekar 13-speed groupset. As will all the riders who are using Ekar, whether that’s the 300km race or three alternatives: 150km, 75km and 37.5km.
Ekar will improve performance, no matter the rider’s ability or experience. And not just within the racing amphitheatre of Europe.
Over the race weekend of 4-6 June, one of the world’s largest gravel races, Unbound Gravel, takes place in Emporia, Kansas. The event, formally known as Dirty Kanza, follows a route along rural dirt roads that, if the rains come as they often do, soon morph into mud roads. Then again, some years temperatures have exceeded 100°F.
Many Ekar riders will line up ready to ride themselves into gravel immortality. To all Jeroboam, Unbound and gravel riders everywhere, enjoy getting down and dirty after a year of Covid-postponed events.
Gravel is back.