Badlands 2022 Film

Badlands, an Apidura-supported event, is the definitive gravel adventure in Europe. Covering780km and +15,000m of elevation gain, the route crosses the only official deserts in mainland Europe before crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and sending riders to the wild coast of Cabo de Gata before finishing near the Veleta Pass. Watch the official film to see how this year’s race unfolded.

Reading time: 2 min

Badlands, the brainchild of David Rodriques, is designed to take riders on a cultural journey from the historical city of Granada along the unpaved roads that crisscross this sparsely populated area of Spain normally known for its bustling beach resorts before finishing in the small mountain town Capileria, which lies in the shadows of Pico del Veleta, Europe’s highest paved road. The landscapes change from desert to pine forests and beaches and have attracted an international field of amateurs and professionals since it launched in 2020. The challenging route has long stretches with limited resupply, but the incredible landscapes and friendly communities make it a unique event in the bikepacking race calendar.

When we spoke to Cnythia Frazier, from the Velocio Exploro Race Team, after she finished the 2022 edition of the race as the second fastest woman, her overwhelming take away was the community of racers and the landscapes traversed to the finish.

“There is a closeness and supportiveness at gravel racing that is different to the other cycling disciplines I’ve done. I mean it’s still super competitive, but you hug each other at the finish line and get excited when you see somebody on the course. Not many women race these events just yet and it’s cool to see that Badlands had so much competition with so many women in the top 30. I feel very honoured to be participating and racing against these other strong women. I’m not sure what is the right distance for me but in terms of the longer stuff, on certain days you’re like ‘This is awful’, but then you also feel so good and it’s challenging yourself.”

Look out for Cynthia in the film and take the time to immerse yourself in the Badlands experience.