Over 4000 cyclists took over the tiny town of Emporia, Kansas USA for the world famous UNBOUND gravel race this weekend, but tragedy struck one of the amateur riders, resulting in death.

On Friday at 17:00 Gregory Bachman, 61 of Frisco, Colorado was out riding on gravel roads with another UNBOUND cyclist, stretching their legs in preparation for Saturday’s UNBOUND 200-mile gravel race, when Bachman was hit by a large pickup truck driven by local resident Cory Smith at a four-way intersection just outside of town.

Even though Bachman was wearing a helmet, the impact was so severe he died almost instantly at the scene of the collision northwest of Emporia.

Kansas State Police have only released the following statement: “Just after 5 p.m. on Friday, near the intersection of Lyon Co. Rd. 190 and F., Gregory Bachman, 61, of Frisco Co., was headed northbound on Road F and entered the intersection when he was struck by a truck.” 

“I can confirm that we are aware of the incident,” said Jordan Titus, public relations spokesperson for UNBOUND. ” … out of respect for the family we are unable to share further details at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the cyclists’ family.”

On the other hand, local social media posts on The Emporia Gazette website were quick to push blame for the tragedy on the behavior of cyclists.

The Red Blooded Patriot posted: “I’m not sure about the details of this wreck. But I know for a fact that majority of these cyclists don’t stop at stop signs. There supposed to follow same traffic laws as vehicles, and they don’t. They also ride right in the middle of the road and don’t feel the need to pull over and let others past.”

Humanobserver posted: I was in town today going North on Prairie towards the cemetery when a biker ran a stop sign off the side street and if I had not been watching he would have hit me. I love the bike sports and love that they come to Emporia but they need to watch where they are going and not their GPS or timers.

Bachman was an avid Colorado endurance cyclist who enjoyed multi-day cycling tours, brevets, bike packing and gravel events. In his first try at the UNBOUND 200 gravel race in 2021, he finished in 17:21:19 to place 26th out of 48 competitors in the 60+ age category.

Photos: KVOE News, UNBOUND, Rocky Mtn. Cycle Club