Unbound Gravel 2024 conclusions – The spirit of gravel closes the gender gap

Rosa Klöser in the spotlight after winning Unbound 200 pro women's race in 2024
Rosa Klöser in the spotlight after winning Unbound 200 pro women's race in 2024 (Image credit: Life Time)

For the first time in many years, Unbound Gravel delivered a torrent of positive stories and the word 'mud' was banished like a bad dream. A return to a challenging north course and dry weather delivered fast races, while fresh faces joined the fray alongside cagey veterans for suspenseful attacks and sprints. With new rules and a separate start, the pro women in the Unbound 200 finally had their day in the sun.

In the three editions of Unbound Gravel 200 before 2024, the men’s winners were decided in sprint finishes in downtown Emporia and the women’s winners rode to solo victories. Looking at just those basic outcomes, the men’s races appeared to be much more explosive and gripping, but that was not the real story and many of the pro women had asked to have their ‘own race’. They got closer to a dedicated women-only competition, and it was incredible.

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

With contributions from