We probably don’t need a long introduction for Mattia De Marchi. The 30 years old rider has been riding 3T for a while now and since last year he is part – and co-founder – of the Enough Cycling Collective. He is probably one of the most versatile riders around, performing strong in both short and adventure races. From the Italy Divide to Badlands, from Nova Eroica to The Traka – when Mattia is at the start you know he is there to ride hard.
He’s now flying to the US for Unbound. Let’s hear from him how he feels and what he expects from the gravel roads of Kansas.
I won’t lie. I’ve been waiting for it for a long time! I just want to go to the US and see how they do it and how they race. How strong is the competition and how good the vibes are.
I think it’s safe to say in the last few years we had many experiences here in Europe and we tried to attend all kinds of interesting events, both competitive and non. We had so much fun and we met so many great people and strong riders. I feel the gravel scene is growing a lot here and every year new events pop up and it’s already difficult to choose which ones to attend.
I look at US with a lot of curiosity, because I realize they’ve been doing this for longer. There’s an event (or even more) every weekend and the competition seems very strong, even with big names coming from pro racing who definitely know how to push hard.
I’m curious to see how I relate to them and how I will behave in such a hard race. For sure it’s not the best route for my characteristics because it’s mostly flat, but I want to give it all and see what comes out of it.
Everything will be new – we don’t know the course, we don’t know how they race. We will just – hopefully – get to Emporia a few days before the race and try to connect with the community, have a great time and race as hard as possible. I’m sure it’s gonna be great.
One thing tho. Unbound is definitely not an obsession. We have a calendar full of great appointments all over the World and Unbound is just one of them. Ok, maybe an important one. But let’s approach it as always: it’s just a bike “race”. Let’s have fun and then… it is what it is!
I’m not saying we didn’t prepare for it. Of course we did. I trained as good as I could and we also worked on the bike to have the best weapon we could. I really need to thank 3T and Enrique for that: working on the bike together was a really interesting experience! Now it’s time to put it on the road and see how she behaves! Unbound, here we come!
Credits Chiara Redaschi / Sami Sauri