Maxxis Factory Racing athletes Haley Smith and Andrew L'Esperance headed to Emporia, Kansas for the 2022 edition of the Unbound Gravel race, the first gravel race either have ever entered! Building on the top-ten results Haley and Andrew took in the Fuego XC 80k at the Sea Otter Classic in May (6th and 5th place, respectively), the riders came into the second event of the Life Time Grand Prix with favorable positions in the overall standings.
Both riders trained hard leading up to Unbound; the legendary 200-mile gravel event is one of the most challenging, high-profile races on the calendar, if not the world. A solid result could significantly impact the rest of the series, but neither course conditions nor weather made for an easy day on the bike. Despite the mud, wind, and storms, Haley Smith finished in 6th and Andrew L'Esperance in 24th.
Following these results, Haley's finish puts her in 2nd place for the overall series standings, while Andrew sits in at 6th. Next, the duo heads to Beaver, Utah in July for the "Crusher in Tushar," a 70-mile race of 40/60 split between tarmac and natural surfaces accumulating over 10,000 feet. Good luck to them both as they race to another pair of successful results!
Full results are viewable here.
All photos by Bill Schieken