Champions League of Gravel

Welcome to Emporia

The most iconic gravel race in the world featuring the best gravel riders around the globe. This is the Champions League of gravel.

UNBOUND Gravel isn’t just a gravel race. It was founded in 2006 at a time when gravel grinding was just beginning to catch the interest of the endurance cycling community. Inspired by some of the early gravel grinder events, the Unbound crew had eye that the beauty of the Emporia region is best explored on two wheels, and with that, the 200 mile “race” took shape. Cyclists around the globe have transcended upon the roads to tackle the hilly, tire-shredding, sun baked gravel where the Flint Hills are infamous for.

Looking at the podium spots you notice that the event is slowly internationalizing as riders from outside the USA start winning since 2022, Dutch rider Ivar Slik won the marquee 200 miles (Ivar was hit by a car last week and is currently recovering in an American hospital but is well). Before the top spots were occupied by all American riders.

This weekend a bunch of well-established current and former professional road cyclists like our friend Laurens ten Dam start at 06:00 AM to ride for the victory and the iconic "wrestle-belt". But experience is crucial when it comes to racing Unbound due to the risk of mechanicals and the unsupported nature of the event. The track will chew up bikes and tyres and you need lots of luck. The ex-pros will need to plug their own tyres when necessary, and it will be.

Gravel racing has been an individual sport in the past but the entrance of teams with equal sponsors add a new dimension to the scene. Riders will bring their road team tactic mindset to the Unbound race. We love that the gravel scene is evolving and will be checking the riders online during the race.

Our crucial items to survive Unbound: Gravel Mug filled with Gravel Grinder coffee.

All media and images: Life Time Grand Prix