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Burnt Bridge Classic gravel fondo coming to Cowichan in May

Glenora race the second of three stops in the 2024 Mosaic Gravel Series
Mill Bay product Evan Russell races in the 122km elite category at the 2023 Burnt Bridge Classic. He went on to place second overall. (Jay Wallace photo)

A new series of bike races has come to Vancouver Island.

The Mosaic Gravel Series is the brainchild of Jon Watkins of Panache Cycling Sports, a former elite cyclist racer who turned his attention to hosting various races, including the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series and the Canadian National Masters Cycling Championships.

“After the success he had starting and building the Burnt Bridge Classic in Duncan over the past five years, Jon has since expanded to a Nanaimo (Nanaimo Unpaved) event and, for the first time in 2024, the Campbell River event,” said Trevor Dalton of Destination Campbell River.

The River City Fondo in Campbell River on April 21 was the first stop for the Mosaic Gravel Series. Mosaic Forest Management hosted the event.

The popular Burnt Bridge Classic Gravel Fondo in Glenora will act as the second stop in the series and will run May 18-19.

Now in its sixth year, the Burnt Bridge Classic has expanded to three stages of racing — a hill climb, a short course, and a long course and it will be possible to do a single race, two stages, or the full three races, according to organizers.

“The challenging terrain consists of long steep climbs, twisty descents, and breathtaking views,” noted organizers. “The event will be supported by feed zones and ride ambassadors who will provide assistance and support to ensure a fun and safe ride.”

The final stage of the Mosaic Gravel Series is in Nanaimo, with Unpaved on June 16.

With files from Brendan Jure