Why is Unbound Gravel mud so bad, how can racers cope, and can we predict where the worst sections will be in 2024?

A bike from Unbound Gravel
A bike from Unbound Gravel (Image credit: Snowy Mountain)

With Unbound Gravel 2024 fast approaching, the attention of all concerned is on whatever the most favorable weather forecast is. Last year’s edition of the biggest gravel race of the year was defined by mud. Sticky, claggy, and often unrideable mud sections that began from mile ten and served to clog up drivetrains and turn all tyres into slicks.

The forecast is, sadly, not hugely favorable at the moment. The route is heading north this year, which it has only done in 2019 and 2021, both of which were run in the dry. Kristi Mohn, marketing manager for the Life Time Grand Prix, says:

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Will Jones
Senior Tech Writer

Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. He’s tried his hand at most cycling disciplines, from the standard mix of road, gravel, and mountain bike, to the more unusual like bike polo and tracklocross. He’s made his own bike frames, covered tech news from the biggest races on the planet, and published countless premium galleries thanks to his excellent photographic eye. Also, given he doesn’t ever ride indoors he’s become a real expert on foul-weather riding gear. His collection of bikes is a real smorgasbord, with everything from vintage-style steel tourers through to superlight flat bar hill climb machines.