Swenson uses second place at Unbound Gravel to prove point for mountain bikers

Keegan Swenson after winning 2022 Fuego 80K XC MTB
Keegan Swenson after winning 2022 Fuego 80K XC MTB (Image credit: Life Time Sea Otter Classic/ Life Time Grand Prix)

Off-road specialist Keegan Swenson came into Unbound Gravel 200 as the early men’s series leader in the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda. The reigning US mountain bike national champion in both short track and cross country, won the opening round in his specialty at Sea Otter Classic in the Fuego XC 80K. He came to Emporia, Kansas for the new challenge in the longest off-road race in the Life Time series. 

A combination of inclement weather, a crash and a fast pace in the decisive five-rider breakaway culminated with a second-place finish, a bike length behind winner Ivar Slik. The podium finish gave him a slight pad of five points over Russell Finsterwald and eight points over Alexey Vermeulen in the Life Time series, but he was there in the Flint Hills of Kansas for the first time to prove a point.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Life Time Grand Prix - top five men
1Keegan Swenson60
2Russell Finsterwald55
3Alexey Vermeulen52
4Rob Britton50
5Lance Haidet47
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Life Time Grand Prix - top five women
Pos. NamePoints
1Sofia Gomez Villafane59
2Haley Smith52
3Evelyn Dong51
4Emily Newsom48
4Melisa Rollins48

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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).