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Cyclist due to compete in Unbound Gravel race killed by driver in collision on eve of event

Police said Gregory Bachman was in Kansas to compete at the event when he was struck and killed in a collision at a junction on Friday

A competitor preparing to ride Unbound Gravel, one of the United States' premier off-road events, was hit and killed in a collision with a motorist on Friday night.

Kansas State Highway Patrol broke the news in a report, saying that Gregory Bachman, 61, was killed by the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck in a collision at a junction at around 5:30pm on Friday 3 June.

The incident happened at the junction of two gravel roads on the west side of Emporia, the city which hosts the event, and resulted in the rider from Colorado being pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the report, Bachman was riding northbound on country road F when he approached a junction with country road 190. The driver who was travelling west struck the rider due to compete the following day before stopping at the side of the road.

The driver has since been named as 52-year-old Cory Smith of Emporia, and Unbound released a statement: "Race organisers at Unbound Gravel extend our deepest condolences to Gregory’s family."

The event went ahead in testing conditions, with rain leaving parts of the course puddle-strewn and muddy. In the women's 100-mile race, Sofia Gomez Villafañe won by over eight minutes from defending champion Lauren De Crescenzo. 

Dutchman Ivar Slik became the first non-American to win the event, taking the men's 200-mile race in a little under nine and a half hours, Unbound's fastest time by nearly an hour. Keegan Swenson, last year's winner Ian Boswell, and Laurens Ten Dam were beaten by Slik in the sprint. Swenson and Boswell completed the podium places.

Peter Sagan completed the men's 100-mile race, finishing 63rd out of 1,072 competitors in a time of 5:55:17.

Image: Police tape (CC licensed by Tony Webster on Flickr)

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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