How To Tackle An All-Day Gravel Race: The Traka 360
Gravel racing and long days go hand-in-hand, with plenty of races over 200km and a select few heading beyond 200 miles. Those distances can be intimidating on road, let alone on gravel and most events offer more accessible options… but the longest routes often have the best views and the biggest rewards, putting them firmly on many riders’ bucket lists. The Traka 360 film follows Diederik Deelen of the Service Course as he takes on the Traka 360 and offers an insight into what it takes to compete in such a long event.
The Traka has a reputation as one of Girona’s most beautiful events but also one of its most brutal. With three distances to choose from (360, 200 or 108km), it explores the best roads, the best landscapes and the best trails Girona has to offer.
Diederik Deelen, a mechanic at The Service Course, has long been a fan of the event, dotwatching the 360 and even winning the 200km edition last year. After so many years of admiration and buoyed by his victory at the 200km event, Diederik decided to finally tackle the 360km event and documented his journey so other aspiring all-day gravel racers can get an insight into what it takes to complete such an event.
We asked Diederik why the Traka 360 meant so much to him and why gravel races have so much appeal:
“Last year, I was working the day before the Traka 200 and dotwatching the 360. It looked so cool that I almost regretted not signing up for the longer race that year. I also rode most of the route three years ago when Gerard from Klassmark first developed the 360. It was still winter and I was pretty new to gravel, so ended up taking a shortcut home after 300km, but it was still an amazing experience.
The gravel scene is getting bigger every year and lots of riders seem to prefer racing away from open roads. While these races are competitive at the front, they’re much more relaxed at the back, with people just having a great day outdoors. It’s an incredible combination that creates such a good vibe around the event and every year Gerard comes up with new sections to make it even more epic.
Gravel is getting more attention, which is good for sponsors, but so far there aren’t any crazy rules. It’s a nice thing that you can just turn up with your flat bar mountain bike and baggies or your aero gravel bike and lycra and just ride your own style.”