'Being a good gravel racer is problem-solving' - Sarah Sturm on Unbound preparation, challenges in women's race

Sarah Sturm finished third at 2024 The Traka 360
Sarah Sturm finished third at 2024 The Traka 360 (Image credit: Nils Laengner)

A year ago, Sarah Sturm (Specialized) finished third in the elite women’s category at Life Time Unbound Gravel 200, referring with high sarcasm her 12-plus hour adventure as “Funbound”. She said she was pleasantly surprised by her podium spot in the 200-mile, mud-soaked race, which actually came in at 205 miles, and “for me, that’s as good as winning”.

Two weeks prior to her third start at the giant of gravel gets underway on June 1, Sturm has already landed in Kansas and pre-ridden much of the north course, territory covered only twice before and last in 2021. She’s fresh off a podium at The Traka Gravel, the 360km distance, and ready to tackle the second round of the Life Time Grand Prix on another 11-plus hour adventure, where the unexpected is always to be expected - thunderstorms in the forecast, 2,000 more feet of elevation gain and a new test with a wider gap at the start between elite women and amateur racers.

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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).