Keegan Swenson wins Unbound Gravel 2023

Gravel 04/06/23 01:00 Migue A.

Fast group race that would be decided in the last kilometers and that the rain did not want to miss in the final part hardening the race and in which Swenson, 2nd last year, beat Petr Vakoc in the sprint. In the women's race, Carolin Schiff won after riding in the breakaway for almost half of the race.

The Unbound Gravel is once again resolved in a sprint after 200 miles of cycling

A purely spring-like day was faced by the participants of the Unbound Gravel which, as usual, especially after the rains of previous days, forced the riders to deal with muddy tracks that harden every year a race that can be deceiving for its low cumulative elevation gain.

With the first light of day, the start was given to the main event, the 200-mile course where the best gravel riders in the world gathered, anxious to add to their list of winners what is undoubtedly the most prestigious victory that can be achieved in this modality today.

The men's race started fast and soon, the top favorites stood out from the rest of the participants, forming a group of about 20 units with names like Kiel Reijnen, Keegan Swenson, Howard Grotts, and Russell Finsterwald. Some of the favorites, such as Ian Boswell and Lachlan Morton, were a minute or so behind. Both groups would eventually merge into a large peloton that would begin to make its way in a race of attrition.

Unlike what happened in the women's race in which, from the early stages, hostilities were unleashed, with Jenna Rinehart trying to surprise and going solo from the start. Behind a group led by the top favorite, Sofia Gomez Villafane, who managed to neutralize this initial attack then passing the Argentinean cyclist on the offensive with a completely destroyed race where the riders went one by one or in small groups of two or three at most.

Meanwhile, the men arrived at the checkpoint in the town of Eureka, at mile 79, where a group of 8 units, with Paul Voss, Lachlan Morton, Russeld Finsterwald, Keegan Swenson, John Kariuki, Peter Stetina, Petr Vakoc and Ian Boswell commanded the race. The news at this point was the total collapse of the winner of last year's edition and top favorite, Ivar Slik, who passed the checkpoint in 59th place, more than 30 minutes behind the group.

From this point on, peace reigned in this group that decided to make its way in harmony and which would be joined by some more units coming from behind, such as the former road professional Laurens Ten Dam, a great protagonist for the breakaway that he led during almost the entire race last year.

Meanwhile, the women passed through Eureka with a change in the lead, with Carolin Schiff who had managed to chase Sofia Gomez Villafane while, a couple of minutes behind, Ruth Winder and Alexis Skarda rode together in pursuit. However, as the kilometers went by, the race regrouped, with a leading group of 7 riders joining at around the halfway point.

Carolin Schiff was the next to go on the offensive around mile 110 setting a devastating pace that managed to open a gap of more than 7 minutes with Sofia Gomez Villafane and Alexis Skarda. All this under an impressive rain shower as a result of the storms that were announced for the final part of the race and that added a point of epic to the competition.

With the participants facing the final stretch of the main event, special mention for the arrival of the first participant of the women's 100-mile race, none other than the professional road racer with the Canyon//SRAM team, Tiffany Cromwell. The Australian managed to complete the course in 6h13'54''.

With 10 miles to go in the men's race it was Laurens Ten Dam who made his move, trying to surprise and avoid having to gamble on the victory in a sprint for which he already assumed he had little chance in view of who his companions were. However, his proposal would not get the desired success and the regrouping and the final kilometers would become a real poker game.

Finally, all would arrive together to the last meters, back to the streets of Emporia where the American Keegan Swenson, second last year after being beaten in another sprint, would be this time the fastest, beating the Czech Petr Vakoc and the EF Education-EasyPost rider Lachlan Morton, who closed the podium.

In the women's race there would be no changes with an incredible Carolin Schiff that was extending its advantage beyond 20 minutes to achieve an undisputed victory. Behind, Sofia Gomez Villafane, Danni Shrosbree and Sarah Sturn were in pursuit, but despite the understanding nothing could do against the power of the German. In fact, in the final segment, the Argentinean cyclist managed to secure second place, crossing the finish line just under 20 minutes behind the winner. A podium that would close a few minutes later Sarah Sturn who also managed to get rid of Shrosbree's company.

Unbound Gravel 200 Men's Classification

  1. Keegan Swenson 10h06’02’’
  2. Petr Vakoc +1’’
  3. Lachlan Morton +3’’
  4. Laurens Ten Dam +6’’
  5. Ian Boswell m.t.
  6. Russell Finsterwald +7’’
  7. Peter Stetina +8’’
  8. Adam Roberge +31’01’’
  9. Zach Calton m.t.
  10. Jasper Ockeloen m.t.

Unbound Gravel 200 Women's Classification

  1. Carolin Schiff 11h42’29’’
  2. Sofía Gómez Villafane +19’21’’
  3. Sarah Sturn +21'30''
  4. Danni Shrosbree +21'41''



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Keegan Swenson gana la Unbound Gravel 2023