The Van Tour landed in Emporia, Kansas for the Unbound gravel event, which I refer to as this year's gravel olympics!
Without any doubt, this is the largest gravel-specific cycling event here in the U.S. Thousands of enthusiasts and racers alike from all over the country fly to the small town of Emporia to participate. The exhibitor booths seemed never ending as they take over the downtown strip. The number of custom gravel bike builds and performance components was something to marvel at.
WTB set up our classic lounge/display booth which is a great place to hang out, grab a refreshing drink, and chat about all things gravel (we don't bite, I swear!). Everyone walks away with some neat swag, and at this event we ran a CZR carbon wheel giveaway so we are always worth a visit!
Believe me when I tell you, race day was an epic one. I personally come from the mountain world. When I heard over 150 riders lined up to race 352 miles that runs for 24 hours, I simply couldn't believe it. Sleep? Absolutely not, pedal till the end. The 25/50, 100, and 200 mile races began early Saturday morning about 10 hours after the 352 mile epic began. After a clear and sunny 2 days of expo, Rain swooped in on race day and rewarded those who chose tires with some good chunky tread.
Cycling's latest and greatest discipline, gravel, has taken off to the moon and Unbound is a must add event to the calendar. WTB will see you there next time. Cheers!