Ivar Slik and the 2023 edition of Unbound Gravel

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Ivar Slik was born to ride bikes

Ivar Slik was born to ride bikes. After falling in love with the sport as a child, Ivar graduated to ten years in professional road cycling, in both continental and pro continental teams. Road, MTB, gravel, he's done it all. Continually switching it up, he's taken the podium's top step in multiple disciplines.





We did sit down with him for a conversation after the dust settles on the latest instalment of Unbound.


Ivar’s race setup:

200 miles riding in the toughest conditions require a lot - for both Rider and Gear.

“After a sticky mud bath section I noticed the rear derailleur cable was broken and I could only ride on the 11th. With 310 km to go"

Ivar Slik

Unfortunately, the 2023 edition of Unbound didn't present him with the chance to take back-to-back wins. Swamps of mud and difficult conditions put many riders out of contention early on in the race – Slik ploughed on to the finish with only two working gears. A potential victory was snatched from him with a mechanical. Still, that's just how gravel racing is. It's not about winning all the time (as many elite riders won't) but embracing the race as it unfolds. Taking the conditions in hand and enjoying your time on the bike while grafting to the very end.

Ivar’s race setup:

  • Wilier RAVE SLR - Limited Unbound Edition

  • MICHE Carbo Graff Route wheels - Limited Unbound Edition

  • Shimano 52-36 Dura Ace crankset

  • GRX rear derailleur

  • Fi’zi:k saddle

  • Integrated Wilier 140 mm stem + handlebar

  • Schwalbe G-One RS 40mm tires

  • Sweet Protection Falconer Aero 2VI Mips helmet

  • MAAP I.S. Skinsuit

  • Sweet Protection Shinobi RIG® Reflect Sunglasses

The life of a gravel racer is full of ups and downs, and it can be even tougher maintaining race performance as a privateer. Events come thick-and-fast across a packed International schedule, with athletes often globe-hopping the leg-shattering circuit without any team support. Nobody helping with physio, pesky visa submissions, nutrition strategy - making sure you get from point A to B with minimal stress. It can, at times, feel similar to the amateur experience – pulling up to a race with your kit in the car and hoping you’ve not forgotten anything important (you know, like a bike!). Privateers have to race, recover, bounce back and be ready to go again without many of the perks from a professional team environment. Despite the many challenges, Ivar Slik has found his groove in the privateer life, forging his own path to progression and podiums in gravel racing.

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