Lachlan Morton and Rosa Klöser sprint to Unbound Gravel victories

Course records and big winners in Emporia.

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 01.06.2024 Photography by
Life Time
More from Ryan +

Lachlan Morton extinguished Keegan Swenson’s vice grip on the American gravel scene by winning the 200 mile Unbound Gravel in a two-up sprint against Chad Haga. Though a handful of Europeans bolstered the top 10, Morton’s performance was more proof that North Americans (or simply those who have lived and raced in the US gravel scene for a long time, as Morton has) have a unique advantage racing Unbound, with much-hyped favorite Matej Mohoric flatting out of the race due to the route’s rough conditions. 

In contrast, the women’s race was won by Rosa Klöser in a reduced bunch sprint, the second year in a row that the Unbound women’s field was won by a European rider.

Both races were tactical affairs, far more so than the race would see even a few years ago. The front groups are getting stronger, the tech is getting better (and better understood), and this race looks like it will only keep getting faster.

Men’s Unbound report

The men set off first from Commercial Street in Emporia for 200 miles through Kansas’ flint hills. It was a cagey affair, almost road race like, with multiple early (and doomed) moves moving off the front in the early hours of the race. This year’s course traveled north and was said to have more technical, chunky rock sections as well as punchier climbs compared to the southbound courses. Despite the rough route, it was the fastest edition in Unbound history and saw two WorldTour-caliber riders sprinting for the win.

Brief Results:

1Lachlan Morton9:11:47
2Chad Haga0:00:01
3Tobias Kongstad0:03:36
4Piotr Havik0:03:37
5Mattia De Marchi0:03:41
6Simen Nordahl Svendsen0:04:41
7Greg Van Avermaet0:04:47
8Payson McElveen0:04:48
9Sebastian Schönberger0:04:48

Women’s Unbound report

The elite women began 15 minutes after the men and 25 minutes ahead of the amateur fields in an effort to minimize mingling co-ed drafting. Many pro women riders, including the outspoken Sofia Gomez Villafane, have called for separate starts in gravel races to allow women to have their own race free from the influence of men’s groups on the road. 

Brief Results:

1Rosa Klöser10:26:02
2Geerike Schreurs10:26:03
3Paige Onweller
4Haley Smith
5Heather Jackson


What did you think of this story?