Skip to main content

Sofia Gómez Villafane's Specialized Crux: The Unbound 200 women's winning bike

Sofía Gómez Villafane's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200
Sofía Gómez Villafane's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200 (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Sofia Gómez Villafañe is on a roll. The Argentine mountain biker has already picked up wins at Cape Epic and Rule of Three this year, and can now add a victory at the women's Unbound 200 to her glowing - and growing - palmarès.

Despite reportedly not having trained on a gravel bike all winter, nor having trained for more than five hours at a time, Gómez Villafañe rode solo for over 80 miles to take an impressive victory nine minutes ahead of defending champion, Lauren De Crescenzo, with Emily Newsom in third at 21 minutes.

A mixture of weather conditions and a new southern route meant that both the men's and women's 200-mile courses were finished in record time. Gómez Villafañe finished in a time of 10:27:41, one hour 33 minutes faster than De Crescenzo's 2021 winning time.

She did so aboard the Specialized Crux, a bike which had long been Specialized's go-to cyclo-cross bike until it was relaunched in 2021, when Specialized adjusted its geometry to better suit the more in vogue discipline of gravel racing, putting it alongside the Diverge in the range. While fellow Specialized sponsored athlete Ian Boswell opted for the more comfortable and capable Diverge, Gómez Villafañe's day was spent aboard the lighter weight model, which draws design inspiration from the brand's superlight Aethos road bike. 

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

Up front, an unbranded set of aero bars are fitted to the handlebars (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

The increased speeds of the 2022 event meant increased importance placed on aerodynamics, and ahead of the race, the recurring debate of aero bars in gravel reared its head once again. As shown on Ivar Slik's Wilier Rave SLR, the men's winner was so in favour of their use that he custom printed mounts to fit them to his bike. Despite her roots in mountain biking, Gómez Villafañe is clearly also an advocate of the technology that originates from time-trialling and had an unbranded pair fitted to her handlebars.

Alongside these, the bike was fitted with a groupset comprising parts from Shimano's road, gravel and mountain biking ranges.

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

The groupset was a mismatch of different disciplines, starting with derailleurs from Shimano GRX Di2 (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

Up front, a 50/34 Dura-Ace road chainset is fitted, complete with XTR mountain bike pedals (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

At the back, an 11-40 XT cassette is fitted (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

The bulk of the components is from Shimano's top-tier GRX Di2 groupset. Up front, this is paired with a Dura-Ace road chainset with 50/34 chainrings, and at the back, an 11-40 XT cassette is fitted. Unlike Slik, Gómez Villafañe ran mountain bike pedals, opting for Shimano's top-tier XTR model, and she wore S-Works Recon shoes

Sofia Gomez Villafane's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

Fitted to the Roval Terra CLX wheels are Specialized Pathfinder Pro tyres (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

These are 42c in size, and feature a low profile tread (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Most of Gómez Villafañe's bike spec was courtesy of bike sponsor Specialized. The Big S's component subsidiary, Roval, supplied its Terra CLX wheels, and these were wrapped in Specialized Pathfinder Pro tyres, in size 42c. Her saddle was the S-Works Power Pro with Mimic complete with carbon fibre rails, and even the bottles and cages were supplied by Specialized.

Sofia Gómez Villafañe's Specialized Crux for Unbound Gravel 200

Specialized Zee Cage bottle cages hold Purist bottles, though she opted for two 750ml bottles for the race, as well as a hydration pack for the earlier phases (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.