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The allure of gravel racing for WorldTour pros? ‘Dave Brailsford never came up to me and said “well done Ian, you finished!”’

The allure of gravel racing for WorldTour pros? ‘Dave Brailsford never came up to me and said “well done Ian, you finished!”’

“It’s kind of the weirdest thing that’s happened to me as a cyclist,” Ian Boswell says. “In the sense that…I never had the amount of…

Monday, Mar 07

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“It’s kind of the weirdest thing that’s happened to me as a cyclist,” Ian Boswell says.

“In the sense that…I never had the amount of attention and media obligations [when I was a road pro] than I did after unbound. That kind of blew my mind and I was not expecting it.”

Boswell had been settling into life post-WorldTour career, working a full-time job at Wahoo whilst also signing up for gravel events to scratch the lingering competitive itch. Then, he won Unbound , formerly known as Dirty Kanza, one of the premier gravel events in the world.

The Monday morning after the race Boswell had to tell his colleagues at Wahoo he needed the week off. Not because he was tired from the race but because of all the magazines and newspapers getting in touch. Luckily, that attention, while unintentional, is of benefit to his new employers and also gives Boswell a bit more longevity to his career on two wheels.

At Rouleur Live last year, Boswell was part of the panel discussion on gravel and offroad racing, succinctly summing up one particular benefit of his new discipline.

“After a race, Dave Brailsford never came up to me and said ‘well done Ian, you finished!’” the American announces to laughter from the audience. But this is the reality of off-road racing where a larger onus is placed on participation rather than performance.

“When you’re in Team Sky you’re surrounded by the best athletes in the world. My training rides were with Philippe Gilbert, Chris […]

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