Iron Gravel Alicante 2022

Our friends Brian and Nathan are part of Cluff, a fixed gear, gravel and road cycling team based in Belgium. They were set to take on Iron Gravel 180 – which is set in the Alicante region in Spain. Brian summed up their adventures at the event below – take a read (you might recognise the tape and socks):

Iron Gravel 180 is one (if not the most) of the most difficult gravel ride (and not race) in Europe. 180km of gravel through the beautiful mountains of the Alicante region.

After 3 days of driving to El Campello where we took a room for the event, we headed for Busot (Alicante, Spain) for the thoughest gravel ride of our life.

We checked the trace on Komoot, but at that time, we still had no idea how hard it would be :p

Checking for our participant numbers and grabbing our tracker for the day.

After putting our beautiful Iron Gravel jersey on, we went on the starting line.

Start was given at 6:00 AM and we began our ride in the night.

The atmosphere was really cool, and the feeling of riding all together on these smooth roads in the night with all these lights was even more.

First gravel section, a very long climb on a rocky trail.

The climb was though but the view with the sunrise was worth it.

© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero
© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero

After 87km, Nathan was hit by heat stroke (the temperature was around 33 C° at this time), couldn’t see anything and had to stop.

© Iron Gravel | Rafa Romero

The crew of Iron Gravel came to help, best crew ever!

They took Nathan with their car to the first ravito, which was at only 8km.

After a good lunch, we took some energy back and decided to stop our Iron Gravel ride to head to the finish line directly by roads.
We still had to ride 58km with a lot of elevation.

Nathan was feeling way better km after km. You can even spot a smile on his face. 

That beautiful view on top of Xixona, perfect road for full gas downhills.

Made it to the finish line all together, had an amazing day, great adventure, discovered a lot about ourselves.

Iron Gravel 180, we didn’t made it, almost did the 110 tho  but definitely should try again with a better prepation.
Also, Nathan and Brian were for the first time limited by their cassettes. They had to stop to push their bikes at some points because the elevation was too high.

Nathan was riding 1×11 (40×11-36)
Brian was riding 1×12 (36×10-32)

Should go for a bigger cassette next time. 

Thanks Komoot and Iron Gravel for their collaboration.