Latest News from the Race
Nathan Haas blog: We need to talk about the Unbound mud pitWas it wrong to not re-route the course?
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'Thank you Howard' – support riders make the difference with wheel swap for Finsterwald in Unbound GravelSpecialized Off Road teammate Grotts preserves Finsterwald's chance to contest finishing sprint from group of seven
|Date||June 3, 2023|
|Start location||Emporia, Kansas|
|Finish location||Emporia, Kansas|
|Previous edition||Unbound Gravel 2022|
It all came down to a seven rider sprint and in this edition of the Unbound Gravel 200 Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz) was determined not to miss out on the line, shifting up a podium step to take victory after a tough muddy race through the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Former road professional and 2016 De Brabantse Pijl winner Petr Vakoc was second and EF Education-EasyPost rider Lachlan Morton came third after attempting a late break.
"it was a bit of a tricky finish,” Swenson told Cyclingnews at the finish line. “Everyone seemed like they were going pretty well. There were attacks in the last few miles. The finish chute was quite hectic, so I figured I would go a little bit long, and hopefully, block a bit. It worked out.”
Carolin Schiff has already had a stellar year on gravel, but shot to new heights during the Unbound 200 when she forged clear of the 2022 winner, Sofia Gomez Villafañe, with 60 miles of the race still left and stretched the gap to the line.
The 37-year-old-German stretched the gap to defending champion Villafañe to 15 minutes, while it was Sarah Sturm who came over the line in third, adding another six minutes to the winner's time.
In fourth place, close behind the experienced Sturm, was British gravel champion Danni Shrosbree, who kept picking up places on the hard-packed gravel of the latter phases of the race, with the 'peanut butter mud' of the early stages having delivered chaos to the early stages of the men's and women's race alike.
About Unbound Gravel
The Garmin Unbound Gravel presented by Craft returned the first Saturday in June with five racing distances, including the signature 200-mile event with a mass-start for men and women in downtown Emporia, Kansas. All the routes took in the rugged roads in the Flint Hills of Kansas, defined with sharp rocks and hilly terrain across the Tallgrass Prairie in the middle of the US.
Unbound Gravel 100 was a competitive, shorter-distance option, designed to serve as a “stepping stone” towards the Unbound Gravel 200.
Unique aspects to these races include the remote roads used for routes through vast prairie lands, the checkpoints participants must locate to follow the correct course, and a “do not call us” policy for breakdowns and injuries.
The Unbound Gravel 200 on June 3, was the first of four gravel races in the Life Time Grand Prix and the second stop in the series. The series will be contested by an invitation-only field of 35 women and 35 men for an equally-split prize purse of $250,000, paid to the top 10 riders with the most points accumulated from five of the seven events.
Last year, Sofia Gomez Villafanñe won the women’s division of Unbound Gravel 200 with a solo effort across the final 80 miles, her overall time 10 hours, 27 minutes, 40 seconds. Lauren De Crescenzo, the 2021 champion, trailed 9 minutes later for second place, and Emily Newsom was third for the second year in a row, another 13 minutes down.
Ivar Slik won the men’s 200-mile race with five riders contesting the sprint in downtown Emporia, Kansas. Silk clocked a time of 9 hours, 22 minutes, 4 seconds to win the 2022 Unbound Gravel 200. In a photo finish for the final two spots on the podium, Keegan Swenson took second with 2021 champion Ian Boswell taking third.
In the Unbound Gravel 100, Marisa Boaz finished 22nd overall and took the women’s title, while Ethan Oveson won the men’s division.
Join Cyclingnews' coverage of the 2023 Unbound Gravel with race reports, results, photo galleries, news and race analysis.
Unbound Gravel route
The route for Unbound Gravel 200 began and ended on the pavement in downtown Emporia. All Unbound Gravel event distances utilise a single-loop format, with the vast majority of the course on gravel and dirt roads
From the start in front of the historic Granada Theatre, riders will head in a southbound direction similar to what was done in 2022. The route is relentless, with constant ups and downs that add up to 9,100 feet of elevation gain on the 205.5-mile route. There are two checkpoints, one at Eureka (mile 79) and the other at Madison (mile 167), where riders can receive outside support and a pair of neutral ‘water oasis’ stops, Texaco Hill (mile 42) and Hamilton (mile 124).
Check out the details on our Unbound Gravel route page.
Unbound Gravel Schedule
|June 3, 2023||Pro Men Unbound 200, 205.5 miles||5:50 am CDT|
|June 3, 2023||Pro Women Unbound 200, 205.5 miles||5:52 am CDT|
|June 3, 2023||Unbound Gravel 100, 103.1 miles||7:00 am CDT|
Unbound Gravel 2023
News Langat finishes fourth in XL 350 as Kenyan riders 'stepped up to play a role' following 2022 death of founder Sule Kangangi
News Specialized Off Road teammate Grotts preserves Finsterwald's chance to contest finishing sprint from group of seven
Analysis Mass starts create massive troubles in mud, pro fields surge with international riders and new stars, keeping the amateur experience alive
News From defending champion Ivar Slik to 2021 winner Lauren De Crescenzo, 2023 race edition went askew after just 10 miles of racing for many contenders
news ‘Equality means having equal opportunity for us to show what we're capable of’ says 2023 runner-up for elite women
news Peter Stetina and Carolin Schiff were both racing on what looks like a new gravel bike from Canyon
News ‘I couldn’t believe what we saw. It was absolute madness’ says Nathan Haas after early retirement
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Top News on the Race
Villafañe: I’m ready for a women’s-only race at Unbound Gravel 200‘Equality means having equal opportunity for us to show what we're capable of’ says 2023 runner-up for elite women
Prototype Canyon gravel bike spotted at UnboundPeter Stetina and Carolin Schiff were both racing on what looks like a new gravel bike from Canyon
Peanut butter mud causes chaos at Unbound Gravel‘I couldn’t believe what we saw. It was absolute madness’ says Nathan Haas after early retirement
Keegan Swenson's Santa Cruz Stigmata: The Men's Unbound Gravel 200 winning bikeWas the unbound winner riding a prototype Santa Cruz frame and fork?
Lachlan Morton hits Unbound Gravel podium after end to ‘annoying luck’Australian EF Education-EasyPost rider finishes third after his late attack was reeled back in
Payson McElveen ends chase for Unbound Gravel glory with physical issuesUS rider pulled off the course after Texaco Hill
Brand new 12-speed Shimano GRX groupset breaks cover at Unbound GravelMechanical groupset with wider cassette range and updated brakes spotted on Taylor Lideen's Unbound XL bike
Cyclocross racers 'chase where the money is' at Unbound Gravel 200Amanda Nauman, Caroline Mani, Raylyn Nuss and Kerry Werner take on gravel as cash drains from cyclocross
De Crescenzo: Unbound is 'super cycling' where the best of each discipline meetNew Life Time Grand Prix competitor says 2021 Unbound victory "changed my entire life"
5 conclusions from a muddy and muddled Unbound GravelMass starts create massive troubles in mud, pro fields surge with international riders and new stars, keeping the amateur experience alive
Tech gallery: Aero tricks and puncture-repair hacks aplenty at Unbound Gravel 2023Handlebar hacks, puncture-repair prep, a paint stirrer, an unreleased groupset and even a Beagle called Sherman
What is gravel? How geology dictates tech choices for gravel racesA geologist's look at cycling's undefinable surface, and an inside line on bike setup from Ian Boswell
Good riddance to aero bars - Pros agree on ban at Unbound GravelLighter bikes, increased safety, clear boundaries, less confusion and tension are just a few of the reasons why riders agree to new rule for elite categories
Tech to expect at the 2023 Unbound gravel raceRule changes are bringing rider position to the forefront