The Trek UCI Gravel World Series will be held between April 3 and September 18 ©Getty Images

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced the calendar for this year’s Trek UCI Gravel World Series which will act as a qualification competition for the inaugural Gravel World Championships to be held later this year.

The calendar is filled with 12 events in total, with the World Series set to begin on April 3 and end on September 18.

The 85 kilometre UCI Bongabon Gravel Philippines is scheduled to open the series while the Seven event in Nannup in Australia is expected to be the second event on May 15.

The French commune of Millau is anticipated to follow on with the Wish One Gravel Race on June 5.

The series is then set to move to Świeradów-Zdrój in Poland with the Gravel Adventure on June 18 and to Fayetteville’s Highlands Gravel Classic in the United States seven days later.

Another race is due to be staged in the US with the Amana-based Jingle GX Gravel Race on August 6.

Participants travel to Halmstad in Sweden for the Gravel Grit n Grind and to Belgium for the Houffa Gravel in the city of Houffalize on August 20 and 27.

The Italian municipality of Quattordio is set to host the La Monsterrato-Strade Bianche Monferrato on September 3.

The next day is anticipated to see the Gravelista take centre stage in Beechworth in Australia.

The World Series is expected to travel back to Europe for the Gravel One Fifty in Veenhuizen in the Netherlands on September 17.

Competitors are scheduled to compete in 12 events to qualify for the World Championships later this year ©Getty Images
Competitors are scheduled to compete in 12 events to qualify for the World Championships later this year ©Getty Images

The final race of the competition is set to be held on the next day in Spain with the Ponts-based Ranxo event.

The fastest 25 per cent of men and women in every category will qualify for the Gravel World Championships, which is yet to have a venue and date confirmed.

"I am thrilled that we now have an exciting and rich calendar of gravel events for riders with an adventurous spirit who enjoy cycling on unsealed roads and paths," UCI President David Lappartient said.

"The best among them will earn the right to compete in the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships, the details of which will be released soon.

"The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is incredibly popular, and I am convinced that this concept will be equally successful for the gravel format."

The new series is based on the UCI Gran Fondo World Series where competitors can also clinch a spot at the annual World Championships.

However, in contrast to the Gran Fondo World Series, professional riders can also participate in the Gravel World Series.

American bike brand Trek Bikes have partnered with the UCI to sponsor the series between 2022 and 2024.

The UCI have chosen not to make regulations too strict during its first year to allow cyclists to compete on bikes without electrical assistance.