After a gruelling 206 mile race, the final results of the 2021 Garmin Unbound Gravel 200 race were determined by a sprint between former WorldTour professionals Laurens Ten Dam and Ian Boswell.
The riders rode more than 10 hours through the Emporia, Kansas course, spending most of the event with a group of five elite gravel cyclists, including Ted King and Peter Stetina.
In the last miles of the race, Boswell and ten Dam pulled ahead of the group, leaving a gap of a little more than a minute between themselves and the chase group. The experienced cyclists looked relaxed as they pulled into the final paved segment of the race, chatting as they prepared for the end of a full day on the bike.
The riders’ pace slowed as they came into the final few hundred meters of the race and each cyclist waited for the other to attack. Finally, ten Dam made a move to attack, but ultimately Boswell held him off finishing the race in 10 hours 14 minutes and 27 seconds.
Though both riders have competed in WorlTour races, the energy as they crossed the finish line was decidedly different than at a professional road race. Instead of teammates and soigneurs bringing them water, a volunteer offered the cyclists a free t-shirt.
Boswell, a vocal LGBTQ2S+ ally, crossed the line with a transgender pride armband prominently displayed as he raised his arms in celebration.
Unlike the men’s race, in the women’s category, American cyclist Lauren de Crescenzo crossed the finish line without a competitor in sight. The former U.S. national team athlete was alone as she rode through the final stretch to win the 2021 Unbound Gravel women’s 200 race. De Crescenzo finished with a time of 12 hours six minutes and 49 seconds, fifteen minutes ahead of 2019 Unbound winner Amity Rockwell, who took second this year.
— FloBikes (@flobikes) June 6, 2021
LAUREN DE CRESCENZO! Women’s Winner of the Garmin UNBOUND Gravel 200 presented by Craft Sportswear!!! Finishing in 12:06:49. pic.twitter.com/r8F8aql22O
— UNBOUND Gravel (@unboundgravel) June 5, 2021