Lauren De Crescenzo will ride a custom, Factor Ostro gravel bike with semi-slick tyres at this weekend’s Unbound 200.
The defending Gravel World Champion is one of the favourites in the women’s Unbound 200, having won the Mid South gravel race in Oklahoma earlier this season.
But facing a stiff test from the 2022 Unbound champion, Sofia Gomez Villafane, Factor has tried to help De Crescenzo eke out every last watt.
De Crescenzo, the 2021 Unbound female champion, will run a 1x drivetrain on her Factor Ostro with a 48T SRAM X-Sync aero single chainring and a 12-speed, 10-44t SRAM XPLR cassette.
The Unbound 200 course measures 205 miles, or 321.5km, but features only 1,210m of climbing.
For elite athletes such as De Crescenzo, the lack of elevation negates the need for a smaller inner chainring to provide an easier climbing gear.
Meanwhile, the high average speed of nearly 31km/h (19mph) calls for a sizeable and aerodynamic chainring, matched to a wide-range cassette.
De Crescenzo’s Factor Ostro Gravel is custom painted in the mint and black colours of her Cinch Racing team.
Unbound organisers banned aero bars this year, so De Crescenzo will rely on an integrated Black Inc cockpit to cut through the wind.
Factor’s go-fast gravel bike is specced with a SRAM Red eTap AXS rear derailleur and a CeramicSpeed OSPW rear derailleur cage.
The brand claims its Oversized Pulley Wheel System is two to four watts more efficient than a standard Shimano Dura-Ace derailleur cage.
The pace of the race, smoothness of the gravel and scarcity of corners also explains De Crescenzo’s tyre choice.
The René Herse Snoqualmie Pass TC combines a slick centre tread to reduce rolling resistance, with a generous width of 700x44mm.
According to the brand, the gravel bike tyre’s diagonal side grooves can grip in mud. This feature is probably less of a concern for De Crescenzo because the sloppy conditions at last year’s edition of Unbound look unlikely to be repeated this time.
De Crescenzo will use the Snoqualmie Pass TC with Endurance Plus casing, which features added sidewall protection to lower her risk of puncturing.
The Snoqualmie Pass TC will be set up tubeless on Black Inc’s gravel racing-oriented Thirty Four gravel bike wheels.
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