Unbound Gravel Race This last weekend, Unbound Gravel —the most popular and infamous gravel cycling event in the country—drew in 3,775 cyclists, a record number for the event which attracts everyday cyclists and high-level professionals alike.
The event also saw a record-breaking number of participants who did not complete the course (either because they physically couldn’t or chose not to) due to the rough weather and road conditions that pushed many, if not all, participants to walk or run long stretches of muddy roads within the first ten miles of their adventure. Related Story Essentials for Nailing Your First Gravel Century
Despite being well attended, many finishers and non-finishers quickly retired to their host housing and Airbnbs and did not come back for the celebrations of feats at the afterparty on Commercial Street. Video player poster image A record number of DNF’s
According to the data from Athlinks , the event’s results page, 910 riders abandoned the event across the multiple categories, with 505 abandons coming from the 200 amateur category and 191 coming from the 100-mile distance .
That’s 23% of the total of participants and a whopping 550% increase in abandons over last year’s numbers. However, the data for 2021 shows a similar 19% abandonment rate, as that year’s route took riders north of Emporia, which roads are made of more technical and chunkier gravel and where headwinds are a more significant variable.
“My experience at Unbound was nothing short of gut-wrenching,” says Paige Onweller , 36, of Michigan, […]