'A world away from the Tour de France’ - Pro cyclists are finding solace off-road, but why switch from WorldTour to gravel?

Sleeping in a tent and beers after the stage - former Team Sky rider Ian Boswell shares his thoughts on life off-road

Unbound Gravel 2021
(Image credit: Wahoo/Andy Chastain)

‘We were sleeping in tents and we had one litre of water a day to shower,’ said Ian Boswell from his hotel somewhere in Kenya.

The former Team Sky rider had just finished his third ever off-road event Migration Gravel Race, a four-day stage race over 650km through a national game reserve in east Africa. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.