Tartu Rattaralli gives the opportunity to redeem a ticket to the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships


The biggest road bike race in Estonia, Tartu Rattaralli, will take place again this year on 28th of May. For the second year in a row, the 128 km distance is part of the international UCI Gran Fondo World series, which means that the participants will have the opportunity to get a ticket to the world championships.

Hawaii Express 41st Tartu Rattaralli. Author: Aldis Toome.

Last year a participant of Tartu Rattaralli, Merilin Metsalu, was pleasantly surprised because she redeemed her pass for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship at Tartu Rattaralli, and according to her, this is one of the few road bike races she participates in at all. "To be honest, I don't actually participate in road races very often, I'm more of a mountain bike rider. But I always try to be present at Tartu Rattaralli," she states.


That's how it went last year and after the race, a nice surprise awaited her - she was invited to the award ceremony, as she took 3rd place among her age group. "Some time later, I received an email saying that I was in the top 20% of my age group and that I had redeemed a ticket for the Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento. I told my partner that we will definitely go there, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Metsalu.

According to her, there were two goals at the World Championships in Italy: to finish and not to be last in the age group. "I managed to do both," she says.


Although Metsalu previously didn’t know that Tartu Rattaralli 128 km belongs to the UCI Gran Fondo series, now thinks that it’s very important. "This is an additional motivation for those riders who have no chance to be among the best overall at Tartu Rattaralli. The fact that you can step on the podium is very cool. Thanks to Tartu Rattaralli, many Estonians have the opportunity to participate at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships and represent Estonia, and I think that this is very important," she explains.


Merilin Matsalu participating in Trento. 


Just like last year, this year the riders who finish the Rattaralli 128 km in the first 20% of their age group will be rewarded with a special series medal. In addition, they will be eligible to compete in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships at the end of the season, which will take place from 4th to 7th August in Glasgow, Scotland.


Last year 764 riders participated in the Gran Fondo 128 km distance at Tartu Rattaralli. 161 of them received a series medal and the green light for the World Championships in Trento.


A total of 13 Estonians finished at the world championships in Trento, of which 9 were men and 4 were women.


Hawaii Express 42nd Tartu Rattaralli starts on May 28. In addition to the 128 km distance, there are also 60 and 27 km courses to choose from.


You can register for the Tartu Rattaralli at the best price until May 1st: HERE.


Information about the UCI Gran Fondo 2023 World Championships can be found HERE.