The 2023 model of Unbound Gravel was one for the historical past books. The occasion boasted probably the most important discipline dimension in its historical past. 4 thousand riders took to the Flint Hills to sort out numerous course lengths; 25-mile, 50-mile, 100-mile, 200-mile, and 350-mile XL distances. Although the competitors is all the time fierce at Unbound, probably the most formidable opponent for this yr was the mud and many it.
Let There Be Mud
Within the flagship 200-miler occasion, the mud began round mile 11 and continued unrelentingly for a number of miles. The unrideable part prompted riders to run, stroll or shuffle — any technique to hold momentum. Sadly for a lot of — this muddy sector was so far as they’d make it, with mechanicals a-plenty. For those who made it by way of the mud unscathed, the entrance teams had been selective and full of anxious riders, not letting anybody rise up the highway.
Elite Girls’s 200-Mile Race
Within the ladies’s 200-mile race, Jenna Rinehart opened an early hole of about two minutes. Unbound 2022 winner Sofia Gomez Villafane overtook Rinehart and gained a few minute by mile 40. Round mile 70, Carolin Schiff of Germany caught Villafane with Ruth Winder, Marisa Boaz, Sarah Sturm, and Alexis Skarda in pursuit. Schiff began to search out her stride about midway by way of, in the end successful by greater than quarter-hour.
“I spotted that I might possibly make it,” Schiff mentioned on the winner’s press convention. “My group from Canyon was simply pushing me on the assist station. They instructed me, ‘, Okay, you may have a niche, and carry on going,’ and I did.
Elite Mens 200-Mile Race
The mud took its toll within the males’s 200-mile race, however a gaggle of 10 riders, together with lots of the race favorites, made a transparent break round mile 20. The group included Kiel Reijnen, Keegan Swenson, Howard Grotts, and Russell Finsterwald. Early on, Lachlan Morton and Ian Boswell pushed the tempo to determine the hole additional, disheartening any would-be chasers.
Close to the top of the race, the group was whittled right down to seven. Because the group approached Business Avenue, the riders started exhibiting their playing cards. Keegan Swenson began his dash early, beat out the chasing pack, and one-upped his second-place end from 2022.
“It’s good to win this race,” Swenson mentioned on the press convention. “Second was an amazing consequence final yr, and I used to be content material with it, however to come back up that quick after virtually 10 hours of racing is a bummer to lose it in a dash.”
Dont neglect the 350-Mile XL
The 350-mile XL occasion was a battle of attrition and willingness to outlive, with riders spending over 24 hours on the bike. XL racers skilled all of the rain, mud, strolling, and darkness they may deal with. The lads’s winner Logan Kasper completed in 22:54:25, and the ladies’s champion Kristen Legan completed in 26:06:35.
Full outcomes for all classes may be discovered right here.