EMPORIA (KSNT) – The 2021 Garmin UNBOUND Gravel cycling event is kicking off in Emporia Thursday. More than 2,800 riders are expected to be in Emporia for the four day event.
The event features 25 to 350 mile races along dirt and gravel roads in northeast Kansas. The riders range from age 11 to 88, coming from 48 states and 28 countries.
Marketing Manager Kristi Mohn said it’s a grueling work out, but something that the athletes look forward to each year.
“I think that there’s definitely a feeling of a big family reunion that happens this weekend here in Emporia,” Mohn said. “The cyclists are all excited to be back and part of what makes this event so great is the community of Emporia.”
The race is one of the largest bike races in the country. It went through a rebranding this year after criticism that the original name was a slur against the Kaw Nation.
Along with the races, event weekend features the All Things Gravel Expo, with more than 160 vendor booths from top industry brands. This will run from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at the corner of 8th Avenue and Commercial Street.
The 2021 UNBOUND Gravel event runs through Sunday in Emporia. Click here for a full schedule.