Unbound Gravel rebounds with stellar fields and prairie pain – Preview

Early miles of the 200-mile event saw the gravel roads packed with riders
Unbound Gravel 200 has packed fields for 2021 (Image credit: Wil Matthews)

The Flint Hills of Kansas take center stage Saturday and Sunday for Garmin Unbound Gravel presented by Craft Sportswear. The rebranded DK race was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and regrouped for its 15th edition in 2021 with six racing distances, including the signature Unbound Gravel 200.

A trendsetter in surge of gravel events in North American, Unbound Gravel caters to swashbucklers of off-road endurance, beginning with just 34 riders in 2006. Ready to rumble from Emporia are 2,626 registered participants this year, with the majority scoring entry through a lottery process and seeking to reach the finish for a custom lanyard and window sticker. They will also look for braggers' rights to membership in “Race the Sun Club” (to finish before sundown), or even the “Breakfast Club” (who finish between 12:01 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Sunday, the official cutoff).

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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).

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