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The Stage is set for 2024 Life Time Unbound Gravel

The course is unveiled for UNBOUND Gravel; the Elites get their own finish chute, and more additions grace the 2024 event

The Stage is Set for 2024 Life Time Unbound Gravel

The new route for the 2024 Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 has been unveiled, which will see a world-class field of riders tackle a taxing loop to the north of Emporia on Saturday, June 1st. 

The race has only ventured north twice before (in 2019 and 2021), and this year’s course is arguably the toughest yet. It encompasses 202.9 miles of harsh gravel roads and amasses 11,000 feet of climbing - 2,000 feet more than those two former editions - as it winds its way through the undulating prairies and awe-inspiring Flint Hills which Kansas is famous for. 

Divide Road, which comes after 45.5 miles, is one of the hardest sections of the entire route and provides a relentless onslaught of rough terrain. Heading into Alma, the race hits a series of rollers and takes in the Prairie View Road climb at 65 miles for the very first time. The western route out of Alma is also new and hillier than ever before with the addition of the Volland Road climb after exiting Volland. At 104 miles, the athletes will then encounter Little Egypt; a steep and storied ascent over chunky rocks which has previously provided the launchpad for race-winning moves. 

A further 44 miles into the course - after the riders have experienced more new roads between Alta Vista and Council Grove -  they will find the longest climb of the day up Kahola Hill. This exposed and often windswept ramp will serve up another formidable challenge. 

The approach into Emporia has also been revised for 2024, this time heading in from the east, but Highland Hill will still need to be scaled after 201 miles before the action culminates, as always, on Commercial Street in the heart of the city.

2024-unbound-map

Click HERE for the full route map, and HERE for a more detailed route overview. 

The Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 is not the only race taking place at this year’s event; Life Time has also revealed the routes for the 25, 50, 100 Mile and XL (350-mile) contests which are taking place over this four-day celebration of cycling. 

This year’s courses will all finish from the North East, approaching the city of Emporia from Burlingame Road, a change made to promote a safer race experience. Additionally, the 100 Mile and 350-mile routes will encounter roads never ridden in past editions of the event.

Since its launch in 2006, the Life Time UNBOUND Gravel has switched route directions, allowing more communities to enjoy the benefits that come with hosting the ‘World’s Premier Gravel Event’. This is the third course in event history to go as far north as Alma.

The Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 is the second event of the groundbreaking seven-race series - the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda - and is far and away the longest race of the competition. Its length and difficulty will push the endurance and character of the world’s best off-road riders to the limit. This is the first time that a northern route has been used as part of the Life Time Grand Prix, which is currently in its third edition.

Other 2024 Additions Include

- A new Race Director in Sean Thurman, who will oversee the operational aspects of this iconic event, and will also work directly on the Life Time Big Sugar Classic in October.

- A longer gap between the start of the Elite Women and Amateur races. The Elite Women will commence their race five minutes after the Elite Men at 6:05am, with the Amateur riders setting off 25 minutes later.

- Full street closures for the last 1.5 miles of the route to aid the safety of all riders.

- Two separate finish chutes along Commercial Street to guarantee the best racing experience for both the Amateur and Elite riders who will be competing on the same day.

- Additional measures in place to protect safety of riders and the general public on road crossings and throughout the course.

- Extended race highlights which will be posted on Gran Fondo Guide within 48 hours of the race’s conclusion.