Specialized and Shimano are sponsoring a slew of top riders and well-known names in various categories at this year’s Unbound Gravel. Included in the mix are former winners Ian Boswell and Alison Tetrick, three-time men’s world road champion Peter Sagan (and his teammate, Daniel Oss), fellow former road pros Pete Stetina and Laurens ten Dam, Ironman competitor Heather Jackson, and Shimano Gravel Alliance members Lissa Muhammad and Marley Blonsky (the star of All Bodies on Bikes).
Wondering what they’re riding (or pushing through the mud) on Saturday? Luckily for us, the marketing teams at Specialized and Shimano saw fit to send us a whole bunch of images to share. Best to feast your eyes on these now, because if the weather forecast holds, none of these bikes will ever look this good ever again.
Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend!
The Specialized Diverges of Ian Boswell, Alison Tetrick, and Laurens ten Dam
Alison Tetrick has a different mission for this year’s Unbound. Instead of racing for the podium, she’s helping amateurs cross the finish line before sunset and raising money for Emporia’s local NICA team.
The specially finished Diverges pay homage to the original Stumpjumper mountain bike.
Tetrick definitely has her personal branding on point.
Tetrick is riding Saturday with a SRAM mullet wireless electronic drivetrain.
Yep, the Specialized S-Works Power Mirror 3D-printed saddle is stupidly expensive, but it’s also stupidly comfortable. And when you’re racing on gravel for 200 miles, comfort is no laughing matter.
Flare? Who needs flare?
Ian Boswell is returning to Emporia as reigning champion. Can he make it two in a row?
The FutureShock suspension should go a long way toward smoothing things out over 200 miles.
There’s a lot to unpack here, including the aero SRAM chainring, Quarq power meter, Look clipless pedals, and that handy multi-tool attached to the bottom of that Specialized bottle cage.
Boswell is running a cleaner-looking cockpit setup this year, including a Specialized S-Works forged aluminum stem and Specialized S-Works Aerofly bar.
A compact tire repair kit (including a polyurethane tube) is strapped to the underside of Boswell’s Specialized S-Works Romin Mirror 3D-printed saddle.
Laurens ten Dam will be aiming for the top step of the podium this time around.
This bright pink paint will be hard to miss!
Shimano GRX Di2 levers are mounted to a Roval Terra Carbon bar.
Two chainrings for the win?
Flats are common at Unbound, so it’s important to have plugs at the ready if you’re running tubeless. Ten Dam has his Dynaplug Racer kit right next to the bottle cage.
Pete Stetina’s Canyon Grizl
Pete Stetina will at least have something bright and colorful to distract him from the dull pain of Unbound.
Can’t decide between pink and purple? Now you don’t have to.
Stetina is going with the mini-aero setup.
These cranks clearly have some stories to tell.
More snacks, please!
How fast is Pete Stetina planning to go? Fast enough that he has a Shimano Dura-Ace road crankset fitted here instead of the usual Shimano GRX gravel one.
Peter Sagan and Daniel Oss with two different takes on the Crux
Peter Sagan is racing Unbound for the first time (though he’s “only” doing the 100-mile route).
Specialized Pathfinder Pro tires on Roval Terra CLX carbon wheels for Sagan.
Sagan apparently prefers the firmer feel of a traditional saddle instead of one of Specialized’s fancier 3D-printed ones.
It’s a straightforward setup up here.
No aero to be found here! But note the bright red Dynaplug tubeless plug kit.
One chainring is enough for Sagan.
Daniel Oss’s Specialized S-Works Crux is looking mean in all-black.
Daniel Oss’s TotalEnergies road team is sponsored by Shimano, but he’s opted for SRAM at Unbound.
Fast-rolling Specialized Tracer Pro tires for Oss. Fingers crossed the Pro-level casing can hold up to the flint roads of Kansas.
If Daniel Oss can ride SRAM Force instead of Red, so can you.
Marley Blonsky’s Cannondale Topstone is a yellow ray of sunshine
Marley Blonsky is a champion of getting all sorts of people out on bikes, working tirelessly to ensure everyone feels comfortable and welcomed.
Blonsky will be tackling the course on this aluminum Cannondale Topstone.
Cannondale recently revamped its Topstone range, retaining its impressive capabilities while eliminating all the annoyingly proprietary bits.
Electronic drivetrains may have taken over at the top end, but mechanical ones are still easier to fix out in the field.
Unbound riders often grasp with how to carry enough liquid during the event. Blonsky only has one bottle inside the frame, but there’s a bottle bag mounted to her bar, too.
Lissa Muhammad is going big with the Cervelo Aspero
Lissa Muhammad is a member of Shimano’s Gravel Alliance, a group assembled to showcase the broad appeal of gravel riding.
Muhammad is rocking Shimano’s new GRX carbon gravel wheels, wrapped in WTB tanwalled tubeless tires.
The Cervelo Aspero has reversable inserts in the fork tips that allow for adjustable steering geometry.
Muhammad has her levers tilted inwards to foster a more relaxed wrist angle.
What’s in the bar bag, you wonder? I’m guessing lots of snacks.
Heather Jackson is bringing tri fitness to Unbound
American triathlete Heather Jackson is mixing things up with gravel aboard this Specialized Crux. Argon 18 is her official bike sponsor for triathlon, though, which is perhaps why all of the logos are covered up here.
This’ll be Jackson’s view for quite a long time on Saturday.
Go on, admit it. You’re kind of curious what Waterfall Bank is all about now, too, right?
Jackson is running a 1x Shimano GRX Di2 drivetrain at Unbound with Enve SES 3.4 carbon wheels.