Picture: Axel Brunst via Unsplash

Unbound bigger than Paris-Roubaix for Cyclingnews, highlights growing demand for gravel

The results of the men’s elite 200-mile race at Unbound this year saw more traffic to Cyclingnews than the race report for the 2023 Paris-Roubaix, typically considered the biggest one-day race of the cycling calendar.

The US race has seen a rise in popularity as racers turn from road to gravel tracks.

“The growth in popularity of this event is incredible,” said Cyclingnews editor Peter Stuart.

“To think its results page could be bigger than Paris-Roubaix would have been inconceivable even a year ago.”

Despite the challenging conditions for this year’s edition of Unbound, the gravel race proved popular on both of Future’s leading road cycling websites, Cyclingnews and Cycling Weekly.

Coverage of this year’s race delivered more than 130,000 pageviews on Cycling Weekly (+90% year-on-year) and over half a million pageviews on Cyclingnews (+73% year-on-year)*.

Both brands were on the ground at the event: Cyclingnews production editor Jackie Tyson covered the race from Emporia, Kansas, supported by Australian editor Simone Guiliani and managing editor Laura Weislo; while Cycling Weekly’s North American editor Anne-Marije Rook went one better by riding the 352-mile Unbound XL, placing second in the women’s race and 12th overall.

Cyclingnews published 32 pieces on the race while Cycling Weekly produced 18 articles.

This coverage forms part of a broader commitment to gravel across Future’s cycling websites.

In 2022 3.7 million combined users viewed Future’s gravel content on its cycling sites. In total, Future’s sites generated 963 articles on gravel biking with race coverage, gear advice and columns from pro riders.

Read more: Tru-Tension confirms new distribution partnership with Greyville

In 2023 the aim is to increase the number of people viewing gravel content by 60% to 6 million users with the following approaches to its content.

Doubling the number of gravel buying guides on each site by adding 60 new guides, with the goal of achieving the top three search results for all the biggest terms, thereby reaching more active buyers of gravel biking gear than anyone else

Scaling up gravel reviews coverage, adding at least 200 new reviews of the leading gravel products in 2023

Targeting ‘gravel-adjacent’ categories, including outdoor and adventure products such as camping and adventure equipment and apparel.

Reporting on 48 gravel events including the Grasshopper Adventure Series, the Belgian Waffle Rides, Unbound and the UCI Gravel World Series.

Providing inspiration and advice to everyday gravel riders with news about events everyday riders can take part in, where to ride articles, how-to’s, columns from gravel personalities, and real life stories from the saddle of writers and readers

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