On June 5, you can watch the world’s most prestigious gravel race from home. This will mark the first time a U.S. gravel race will be broadcast.
This year, Unbound Gravel — the race formerly known as Dirty Kanza — will be broadcast live on flobikes.com. Coverage will begin at 12 p.m. local time (CST) on Saturday, June 5, which is when participants from the 100-mile race are expected to finish. It will continue until the elite men and women have finished the 200-mile race.
“There will be race coverage consolidating 200 miles of Flint Hills racing into seven hours,” said Unbound’s co-director Kristi Mohn. “We hope to have updates throughout the day from the field, and then the last 20 or so miles of the men’s and women’s race will be covered live. We hope it will be exciting to see these athletes after 180 miles of Flint Hills gravel.”
The plan to televise the event was in the works for 2020, but the event was canceled due to the pandemic. Now, FloSports has a contract to broadcast the 2021 and 2022 Unbound Gravel races.
“FloSports is honored to partner with Life Time for Unbound Gravel, and we believe this will be one of the most exciting broadcasts this year for fans that love cycling as it marks the first time gravel racing will be produced at this level,” said Ryan Fenton, director of global rights acquisition at FloSports.
“Gravel racing is one of the most intriguing disciplines in cycling and Unbound has become a premier event in the sport. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to leading and investing in the growth of the sport of cycling and elevating the visibility of these athletes. This first-of-its-kind broadcast, in addition to the unmatched coverage of top-tier events around the world, has been integral to the success of FloBikes.”
The broadcast will be hosted by two former professional cyclists, Olympian Frankie Andreu and Janel Spilker, who had a third-place finish in Emporia at the 2017 DK.
The broadcast will also include athlete interviews and coverage of the race’s product expo.
The race organizers have committed to parity in coverage of the men’s and women’s races, said Life Time associate marketing director Michelle Duffy.
“There will be three 4×4 vehicles designated to the front of the event to capture the men’s leaders, chase pack, and women’s leaders,” Duffy said. “After the top men finish, the vehicles will go back out on course to capture the women’s chase. We anticipate about 1.5 hours between top men and women finishers.”
For fans, friends, and family who will be in Emporia over race weekend, the event has organized five local watch parties in town. The broadcast will be shown at Town Royal, The Trolley House, Charlie’s Place, Bourbon Cowboy, and the Granada Theatre.
Watching the race on flobikes.com requires a subscription. An annual subscription is $149 and includes live coverage of all UCI world championship events, UCI cyclocross World Cups, the Flanders Classics, as well as coverage of events like Tour de Suisse.