She started out riding her bike to work, then discovered she could get across town before eventually travelling all the way to the next city to see her sister. Now, Lael Wilcox is an ultra-distance racer renowned as a fierce competitor on the bike and one of the friendliest people you’re ever likely to meet off it. In an episode of Rapha Gone Racing that has been a long time in the making, we follow Lael to the home of gravel racing in Emporia, Kansas for Unbound Gravel, a race reborn after a year out in 2020. Only this time we’re going long… 

With a 350-mile course, Unbound XL gets back to the self-supported spirit of gravel racing and requires riders to race through the night. In recent years, the event has been attracting increasing numbers of women and through her riding Lael hopes to encourage even more to take the start and believe that they can compete with the whole field, not just other women. That’s what Lael does and for any women out there watching, she has a simple message: “If I can do it, so can you.” 

Rapha: Sam Crowley, Kimberly English
Cinematography: Thomas Woodson, Kody Kohlman
Editor: John Rodosky
Assistant Editor: Ben Page
Color House: CHEAT
Music: Builder’s Tea - 
Cover photograph: Rugile Kaladyte
Back to Top