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Black Forest ULTRA goes Gravel
"If I had to choose one bike, it would be the gravel bike," says Michael Rich.
That's a clear statement, because the 1992 Olympic champion has a whole stable full of bikes of all kinds at home. "I rediscovered my home with the gravel bike," says the 54-year-old, who grew up in Reute and lives in Emmendingen.
Thanks to the gravel bike's suitability for any terrain he has already been out and about on many paths that he didn't even know before. "The gravel bike is the link between a racing bike and a mountain bike," says Rich, who particularly likes the fact that he can "get to safety from traffic and turn off-road quite quickly".
In response to this trend, ULTRA Bike Race Director Sebastian Eckmann, Managing Director Britta Schreiber and the organizing committee of the Black Forest ULTRA Bike Marathon have come up with something special for the race weekend from 12th to 14th July: a special kind of gravel experience that combines sport with adventure, nature, landscape and culinary delights. There are two routes to choose from on 13th July: 65 kilometers with an elevation gain of 1390 meters and 120 kilometers with an elevation gain of 2390 meters. These are not timed races, but they are certainly sporting challenges.
The highlight: there are several so-called "GenussHotSpots" offering Black Forest tapas, barista coffee, ice cream, Rothaus beer and much more. This catering is included in the entry fee of 70 €.

Johanna's Wagencafé will be located in Hinterzarten at the Adlerschanze, where the two routes separate, while another GenussHotSpot is located on the long route in the Rothaus Genusswelt. Kirchzarten is the start and finish point for both routes. "We thought about what suits us best, what‘s excites us," says Britta Schreiber about the decision to use gravel, "the terrain here simply lends itself to it." There was already a gravel variant over 81 kilometers, which was integrated into the ULTRA Bike Race Day in 2019. The gravel ride will now become independent one day before the mountain bike races and will also have its own name: Black Forest ULTRA Gravel. There is no time pressure on either route, the focus is on the experience of being out and about together in the beautiful Black Forest landscape and enjoying each other's company during the breaks. "Everyone will start together in Kirchzarten, then part ways in Titisee," says Britta Schreiber, who is passionate about gravel biking herself, "the long route will include the Feldberg and Schauinsland.

"That sounds like fun", thought Michael Rich when he first heard about the ride, "and fun is always good". For all those who decide to take part, he has one more tip: "Put on wide tires, because the wider the tires, the better the comfort." Further information on the Black Forest ULTRA Gravel and registration can be found on the website www.ultra-gravel.de.

For ambitious mountain bike fans, everything will remain the same on Sunday, July 14, with four routes to choose from: ULTRA (118 km/3550 m elevation gain), Marathon (71 km/1985 m elevation gain), Speed Track (54 km/1230 m elevation gain) and Short Track (46 km/943 m elevation gain). More information on the website: www.ultra-bike.de.
There will also be a kids competition (Bambini Trophy) on Friday, 12th July as well as the Schwarzwälder MTB Cup at Hexenwald Trailpark on 13th July.
Together with the Hero Südtirol Dolomites (Italy) on 15th June and the Iron Bike Race in Einsiedeln in Switzerland on 22nd September, the ULTRA Bike forms the "Heroes Series" for the first time this season. 15,000 € in prize money underline the importance of the new marathon race series. To be included in the series ranking, the long distances of the three events must be completed. More information can be found on the Ultra Bike website under "Heroe Series".
Black Forest ULTRA Gravel
THE Gravel Challenge in the Black Forest

Whether on the 65 or 120 kilometer gravel loop, a harmonious mix of gravel, trail and asphalt awaits you and your friends.
Together, you will climb the most beautiful peaks in the Black Forest while still riding smoothly and at speed.