'It's really extreme': How hard is Unbound, really? Greg van Avermaet and other Euro pros give perspective

Even without the infamous peanut butter mud, the legend of Unbound grows

Scenes from the 2024 edition of Unbound Gravel
(Image credit: Life Time)

Over the years, Unbound Gravel has earned a formidable reputation, becoming known as the ultimate test of endurance, grit and equipment among cyclists worldwide.

Every factor of the race is challenging: the long, 200-mile distance, the terrain known for its tyre-slicing rocks and undulating profile, and the self-sufficiency. Without follow cars, riders have to possess some mechanical know-how to fix issues on the fly while also carrying enough water and nutrition to last up to 80 miles at a time. While the fastest pros may conquer the course in 10 hours, some amateurs will be in the saddle for well over 20 hours. 

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.