The unofficial World Cup in the gravel scene is called Unbound Gravel. A two-hundred-mile (320-kilometre) race in the US state of Kansas, where there is hardly any asphalt strip on the track. With Laurens ten Dam, Jasper Ockeloen, Thomas Dekker, Erwin Sikkens and Ivar Slik, among others, many of the Dutch will compete for the short rankings on Saturday. Unbound also has a 100 mile race with Peter Sagan at the start.
In one of the prep matches, Gravel Locos in Texas, O’Kelvin and Slick finished top two two weeks ago under a temperature of around 37°C. “It was, of course, a big boost,” Slick from Kansas says in an interview. cycling flash† “In the final Jasper managed to pull away from a group, after which I won the race for second place. Although Unbound Gravel is still about 120km longer and therefore a lot heavier.”
Last year, Slick rode for the first time in Kansas and in that time he placed 15th in the international. “It was a real eye opening. Jasper and I traveled here and we didn’t know what to see.”
It was known as the Unbound Gravel as Dirty Kanza. There is a limited starting field for 4,000 gravel competition participants, registration is full in just a few hours. Contestants can start from the front. Laurens ten Dam finished second in the race last year. Slick: “The beginning and the end is in the small town of Emporia and everything is about cycling these days. You will see many adventurers for whom this tour is survival. There is also a bike fair where there are many brands of bikes. Everything shows that this event In the United States he is still very much alive.”
Just asked by my taxi driver in Kansas; Do you do broccoli there?
– Nathan Haas (@NathanPeterHaas) June 2, 2022
Slick learned the necessary lessons from the first post. He has now been in the US for three weeks to get used to the conditions and has already completed two more races on mud in the lead up to the Unbound Gravel.
“Last year I made a mistake mainly in my food strategy. Because the trip was 320 km, I ate so much that it finally broke me. As a result, I came to a complete standstill, while I was in the leading group for a long time. We all drive with a camel bag, we take in food as well as spare items.”
Slick stresses that in addition to good legs, you also need a bit of luck. “In Kansas, I think only county roads have asphalt. All other roads are gravel farm roads. There are many sharp stones. So the chance of a few potholes is realistic.”
This year Slik will be released for Wilier Triestina and has recently received advice from Niki Terpstra in various areas (including training, nutrition and equipment). with his clothes brand speed on wheels Terpstra Slik also wears this Unbound Gravel. In collaboration with Futurumshop, a special Evel Knievel costume was made for Slik.
Acrobat or clown
Knievel was the American stuntman best known for his long-distance motorcycle jumps. His 50-meter jump over the Caesar’s Fountain in Las Vegas on December 31, 1967 made him famous, although his fall caused a month-long coma. He has broken several records in the Guinness Book of Records, including the one with the most broken bones (37).
Slick: “Evel Knievel took danger and lived to tell the story. Despite failed jumps, collapses, and multiple broken bones, he always performed again. He is an inspiration to people who know they want to control their own destiny. People who want to go out and do great things. People who use drive, determination, character and hard work to become their own legend. Nikki and I love this attitude, which is why we came up with this design, as a tribute to Evel Knievel.”
With the RIDE Summer Edition, you’re optimally prepared for the upcoming cycling summer. In this edition there is also a great interest in the gravel scene. You can read an interview with Peter Stetina, who talks about his transition from WorldTour to Gravel pro and his collaboration with Canyon. You can also read what you can compare Unbound Gravel to in an article with Laurens ten Dam. Order your copy now!
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