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  • Writer's pictureMark Currie

The Unbound Gravel Preview

Unbound Gravel, Kristen Legan winning the race.
Kristen Legan crossing the line in 2023, winning Unbound XL on her Mosaic GT-1 45.

This weekend, all eyes are on Emporia, Kansas. It's time for Unbound Gravel. It's the big dog, the one people are (rightfully so), a bit scared of. From the relentless heat & completely unpredictable weather, to the miles upon miles of tire shredding flint rock roads draped across the prairie, it's a proper test of equipment, fitness, and perhaps most importantly - willpower. Whether it's the headliner of the 200, or the feat of endurance that is the 350, it's a captivating event to follow.

In the Mosaic camp, we've got a couple of exciting storylines waiting to unfold...

The reigning Unbound XL champ, Kristen Legan returns to the 200 mile race after her Unbound XL victory in 2023. This time around, she's 1 of 30 Elite Women competing in the Lifetime Grand Prix. Fresh off a hard fought second place at Stetina's Paydirt and armed with more knowledge, experience, and mileage ridden in the Flint Hills than the rest of us combined, Kristen is ready to light the fuse and let things rip against the best in the game.

Mosaic GT-1 i45 titanium gravel bike.
A new bike for a new challenge. Kristen's GT-1 i45 is a purpose-built speed machine.

Brennan Wertz returns to Emporia (after missing it in 2023 with Covid) for his second shot at the flint hills aboard a Mosaic, his first try landing him a Top 10 in 2021 aboard his original GT-1 45. The late Spring block of racing has been a good one for Brennan, racking up a UCI win at Highlands Gravel, a win at The Sea Otter Classic and a massive weekend at US Pro Road nationals as a bit of a "tune up". There will be more than a few folks watching Brennan's every move at Unbound, as he's a real contender for a proper result should luck be on his side.

Mosaic GT- i45 winning UCI gravel race.
Brennan Wertz will pilot his GT-1 i45 through the Flint Hills this time around. That chainring signals his intentions...

Ross Leopold, Mosaic framebuilder takes on his very first Unbound 200. At the youthful age of 23, Ross is the young buck of the Mosaic crew. When you're the young buck, sometimes you're going to get thrown in the deep end, right? We (Mark Currie & Aaron Barcheck) know that the fella is capable of taking a dang good crack at Unbound, so when we registered for the Expo, we went ahead and signed him up - albeit, without his permission. Fast forward a few months, he's put in some serious time on the bike, he's stronger than ever, and he's ready to give it hell. We're looking forward to a day chasing Ross around the course, and we'll make sure to have a cold beverage and a brisket sammy ready for him at the finish line.

GT-1 i45 custom titanium gravel bike.
Ross Leopold is the proud owner of the very first GT-1 i45 with T-Type UDH dropouts that we made. It's been put through it's paces at Big Sugar last fall, seen loads of winter training and it's ready for more.

Salifu Mohammed, close friend and the master of Mosaic stoke returns to Emporia and this time, he's taking on the Unbound XL. We caught up with Sali last summer when he had his RT-1 ITR out in Colorado, and his smile says it all. I imagine, if you have the privilege of running into Sali at Unbound, you'll be greeted with a very similar expression regardless whether it's at Mile 1 or Mile 350. This isn't Sali's first foray into the Ultra distance having completed a self-supported Megahopper at least once, and his seemingly weekly rides of at least 20,000 feet of climbing. I guess when you're a force for positivity like Sali, maybe you just don't get as tired :) Keep an eye out for him aboard his equally green, and equally stunning GT-1 45.

His smile says it all. We cannot wait to see Sali in Emporia.

While those four above are busy stacking some carbs and staying off their feet, we'll be slinging swag and hanging out at the Expo. Stop by the Mosaic Booth (Booth B7) to say hi, grab a koozie to keep your drink cold, and check out some beautiful builds on display. Expo Hours are 2-7pm on Thursday, May 30th and 10am-5pm on Friday, May 31st. We'd love to see you there!

We'll see you at the Unbound Expo. Booth B7!


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