"We're going to stick to road racing guys" - Matej Mohoric DNFs Unbound Gravel but promises to return for a re-match

Matej Mohoric was the main star at the start of Unbound Gravel. And deservedly so, as he sported the rainbow stripes he earned himself at the 2023 Gravel World Championship in Veneto. Equipped with Merida's latest gravel model and two Bahrain - Victorious teammates Matevz Govekar and Lukasz Wisniowski by his side, he arrived to Kansas ready to show off his jersey on the world's biggest gravel event. But on his first encounter with with muddy US roads, only a DNF will stand next to Slovenian's name.

"It was not quite what we expected," Mohoric quickly reported from United States on Instagram. "We ordered bigger tires already." The trio was seen scraping the mud off their tires, laughing at what was to come in the 200-mile gravel race, perhaps a bit underrating the brutality of the infamous race.

And the 'roads' made sure that Mohoric will remember to not take Unbound lightly if he ever plans to make a return. The Slovenian flatted twice in the early phases of the race and later even cracked his rim, ultimately calling it quits at the second checkpoint (two thirds through), but he did so with a smile on his face.

"We're going to stick to road racing guys," he announced jokingly. "It's a beautiful day for cycling, beautiful weather, not so beautiful surface; it could be more smooth, it's pretty rocky. My sidewall does not like it but hopefully my second tube of the day will hold now."

Mohoric and his teammates rode the final miles to the second checkpoint together where they hoped to grab a ride back to their lodgings for 'a shower and something nice to eat.' However, all three Bahrain riders were in good spirits, laughing and promising to return for a round two with Unbound. This time better geared up.

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