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Unbound champ Ian Boswell says respect in gravel ‘more important than the result’

Unbound champ Ian Boswell says respect in gravel 'more important than the result'

Ian Boswell battles with Laurens ten Dam at Unbound Gravel 200 in 2021 (Image credit: Wil Matthews) According to Unbound Gravel 200 men’s defending champion…

Saturday, Jun 04

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Ian Boswell battles with Laurens ten Dam at Unbound Gravel 200 in 2021 (Image credit: Wil Matthews)

According to Unbound Gravel 200 men’s defending champion Ian Boswell, and several of his top competitors in Emporia, Kansas this week, gravel racing is in a battle, and its opponent is road racing. Boswell has a straightforward perspective when it comes to gravel racing, that respect is “more important than the result.”

He referred to negative racing and sly tactics where strong riders sit back ‘hiding in the wheels’ to let others do the work while they rest for later in the race.

“I’d rather ride hard and get dropped than hold back to win,” Boswell told Cyclingnews about old-school racing, aiming for the process over the outcome. “At least then I’d have respect for myself and from my fellow riders. To me that’s more important than the result.”

Gravel events are not just blossoming, but they are exploding across the globe. In the US, Unbound Gravel is part of the six-race Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda series and the Belgian Waffle Ride series has expanded to five events this year, while the new Trek UCI Gravel World Series launched this year with 10 events. There’s plenty of prize money on the line at more races, and the environment seems to be in flux.

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