Payson McElveen gets assistance for his back spasms at 2023 Unbound Gravel 200 (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography) Payson McElveen walks away from Unbound Gravel 200 (Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography) Reigning Mid Gravel champion Payson McElveen was the first casualty in the elite men’s field at Saturday’s Garmin Unbound Gravel presented by Craft Sportswear. He pulled to the side of the course and got off his bike in the Unbound Gravel 200 race in the opening 50 miles of the off-road endurance test in Emporia, Kansas, his chances of victory evaporated.
The US rider was seen seeking assistance to work on his back, and then he never remounted his bike to continue, with 158 miles to go. An official "abandon" had not been confirmed, but McElveen was soon out of his kit and sitting in a chair, the issue most likely connected to his recent crash from Gravel Locos.
"I’m unfortunately out of the race. No concussion symptoms which is great, but gradually had a back spasm get progressively worse until I could barely pedal," McElveen posted to his Instagram stories.
"Not exactly sure what brought it on, but became clear that my body just wasn’t ready to race today. The opening miles were wild, and I had a ton of fun hacking through the carnage. Love races of attrition like this, so really bummed to not still be out there. But we tried!"
The Texas native had mixed expectations for his fifth try at Unbound, two top 10s since 2018. He suffered a […]