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Gravel racing has seen a massive surge in popularity, there is a great sense of community and atmosphere at races. They have become a fun and supportive environment and the investment from sponsors, the introduction of new products and integration within the UCI has made Gravel racing a style that is here to stay. So what do you need and how do you fuel a gravel ride? Well, we sat down with Freddy Ovett a professional gravel cyclist and Science in Sport athlete to find out.  


Other than the surface, there are many differences gravel riding presents a unique set of characteristics. 

You get the joy of being immersed in nature, but with that comes the need to be self-reliant. Having a few extras like nutrition, spare inner tubes and tools to fix any potential mechanicals.   

One of the big points Freddy notes is, “There isn’t much ‘free riding’ as you get on the road or even Zwift. You need to be prepared to manage your effort well, so you have plenty in reserve for the final hours. Think of it like a slow-burning type of effort.” Of course, this is where nutrition will play a factor which rolls nicely into the next section.  


Gravel Pro Freddy Ovett suggests planning your nutrition based on the intensity demands and duration. Distances on gravel are often long but only over a single day rather than multiple days. With this increase in duration Freddy almost exclusively uses BETA Fuel in his races because of the carbohydrate level and the dual-source nature of the product it means that in a few products and bidons, Freddy can comfortably fuel a six-hour race.  


One of the big things that Freddy explains is essential for gravel racing and riding is to keep the fuel going in. Although he doesn’t opt for it on every ride, the option of a hydration pack as well as bidons is a handy pro tip. Especially if the race is unassisted or you are heading out for a longer duration training ride, it can be a great way to ensure they have enough nutrition and hydration for the distance. In his own words, “I find it very important to constantly keep topped up on carbs throughout all rides.” 


Recovery is a key part of any sport and gravel riding is no different, as distances on the gravel may vary from your average road ride don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need to recover as much. Cycling on gravel can be incredibly demanding, the uneven surface requires more effort and power to continue the momentum. Thus, recovery is just as essential.  

Freddy has currently been testing out some of our Lab range which is reserved for future products in development. These products build across some of the staples that exist in our current REGO range, including the REGO Rapid Recovery which is a favourite of the INEOS Grenadier rider Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.  

Getting off the beaten track is a great way to explore a different side of cycling, and with the help of Freddy and Science in Sport you can be fuelled up for your off-road riding. To explore all of the essentials head to our cycling hub here 

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