Unbound Gravel confirms live broadcast of June 5 races

Colin Strickland left the front of the race around mile 95 in a technical area with steep climbs and deep rock. He rode on own for the next five hours to take the win.
Now Unbound Gravel, the DK 200 was won by Colin Strickland (Image credit: Wil Matthews)

Life Time Fitness has confirmed that seven hours of live racing from Garmin Unbound Gravel presented by Craft Sportswear will be broadcast on June 5 by its new partner, FloBikes. It is the first time that a US gravel race has been streamed live for a national audience.

Live coverage will begin at 12:00 CDT on Saturday to coincide with the expected finish time of Unbound Gravel 100, and will continue as athletes in Unbound Gravel 200 mile complete their final 25 miles and cross the finish line in downtown Emporia, Kansas.

Two-time US Olympian Frankie Andreu, who raced professionally for 11 years, will be joined for commentary by Janel Spilker, who after racing as a pro for eight years finished third in Emporia in the 200-mile race. In addition to coverage on the race course, cameras will take viewers around Emporia, into the All Things Gravel Expo, and provide exclusive interviews with athletes.

Last contested in 2019 as Dirty Kanza, Amity Rockwell (Easton Overland Gravel Team) won her second title in the women’s 200 race while Colin Strickland (Meteor X Giordana) won the 2019 men’s 200.

FloSports said in a press release that it expects to stream over 200 miles of racing at Unbound Gravel that will cover seven hours of programming.

“We believe this will be one of the most exciting broadcasts this year for fans that love cycling as it marks the first time gravel racing will be produced at this level,” said Ryan Fenton, director of Global Rights Acquisition at FloSports. 

“Gravel racing is one of the intriguing disciplines in cycling and UNBOUND has become a premiere event in the sport. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to leading and investing in the growth of the sport of cycling and elevating the visibility of these athletes. This first-of-its-kind broadcast, in addition to the unmatched coverage of top-tier events around the world, has been integral to the success of FloBikes.”

FloSports will serve as the exclusive media partner for Unbound Gravel, which is part of a two-year partnership with Life Time.

“We are very excited that FloSports has made the decision to provide this first-time opportunity to bring Garmin UNBOUND Gravel to the masses for the next two years, which is symbolic of the boom in gravel cycling,” said Kimo Seymour, president of Events and Media at Life Time. 

“The gravel scene is different from any other kind of cycling, and participants train for UNBOUND for months after anxiously awaiting to hear the lottery results. For many, it is a bucket list accomplishment.”

Formerly known as Dirty Kanza when the event began in 2006, owners Life Time rebranded the event as Unbound Gravel last fall, after the 2020 event was rescheduled, and then cancelled, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. There were 4,000 participants registered for races last year. 

The physically-challenging and mentally-taxing event covers distances across open prairie from 25 miles to more than 350 miles (new XL event). It has become one of the biggest gravel races in the world, attracting professional riders from cyclo-cross, road, track and mountain bike disciplines, as well as thousands of amateurs, for six races over three days. All races take place on rugged terrain in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas, with the signature event being the Unbound Gravel 200. 

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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).