Gravel world champion Matej Mohorič to debut rainbow jersey at Unbound 200

Slovenian will be joined by his Bahrain Victorious teammates Matevž Govekar and Łukasz Wiśniowski at the US gravel race

Clock02:42, Friday 24th May 2024
Matej Mohorič will wear his rainbow jersey at Unbound 200

© Lifetime Unbound Gravel

Matej Mohorič will wear his rainbow jersey at Unbound 200

Matej Mohorič will debut his rainbow jersey at the upcoming Unbound 200 gravel race almost eight months after being crowned gravel world champion.

The Slovenian will take to the start line of the most famous race on the gravel circuit in Emporia, Kansas, on 1 June alongside Bahrain Victorious teammates Matevž Govekar and Łukasz Wiśniowski.

It’s the first time the 29 year old has raced since crashing out of the Tour of Flanders at the end of March and comes before a busy block of stage racing, with Mohorič scheduled to start both the Tour of Slovenia and the Tour de France later in June.

“I’m excited to take part in the ‘Unbound Gravel 200’ for the first time. It will be only the 2nd gravel race of my life, so there are still a lot of unknowns,” Mohorič said in a press release.

Mohorič’s victory in his first gravel race at the World Championships in Veneto, Italy, came ahead of a stellar field, including fellow WorldTour riders Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) and Connor Swift (Great Britain). The first finisher among the gravel specialists was Keegan Swenson (US) in fifth, who is the defending Unbound 200 champion and will return in 2024 in an attempt to defend his title.

Swenson and Mohorič will be joined by a strong line-up which is heavily made up of former WorldTour pros, including Peter Stetina, Ian Boswell, Greg Van Avermaet, Niki Terpstra, Jan Bakelants and Laurens Ten Dam. 2022 winner Ivar Slik was also expected to start but suffered serious injuries during a training ride collision with a motor vehicle and is currently recovering in hospital.

Read more: Chaos and controversy: Inside the quagmire that clogged Unbound Gravel

2024’s line-up will face what is being billed as one of the toughest editions of the race yet. Formerly known as Dirty Kanza, Unbound delivers a 200-mile mass start race across the gravel roads of Kansas, with the winners usually taking over 10 hours to complete the course.

“I don’t know what to expect to be honest. It’s quite a bit longer than last year’s gravel World Champs [169km]. It’s double the distance, double the time, and double the elevation gain, so it suits riders with more endurance and stamina,” Mohorič reflected on the course.

“I’m not sure how I will go against the others, but I will definitely do my best, and enjoy my day out in the rainbow jersey as the current World Champion. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime, unique experience, and I will make the most of it.”

Keep up to date with the latest racing news on the GCN website.

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