Notorious murder case overshadows Ivar Slik victory in heroic gravel race Unbound: ‘Very scary’ | cycling

On Saturday, Ivar Slik crowned himself as the first Dutch winner ever of Unbound, the largest international cycling race on gravel. Former cyclist Laurens ten Dam finished fourth. The sport has been overshadowed for weeks by a high profile murder case.

Slik was the first to cross the finish line after nine hours of struggling on unpaved roads and was logically proud of his performance: ,,I am extremely happy to have won the biggest gravel race in the world. I want to thank all the people who believed in me and supported me through good and bad times,” he wrote on Instagram.

For weeks, gravel cycling has been dominated by a controversial murder case. Moriah Wilson, one of the most famous gravel cyclists in the world, was found dead in an Austin home in early May. The 26-year-old rider was shot and died of her injuries. Wilson had a brief relationship with Colin Strickland, the sport’s biggest name. The suspect that the police have in mind for the murder is Kaitlin Armstrong, Strickland’s current and ex-girlfriend.

On the day of the murder, Armstrong was spotted in Strickland’s car around the house where Wilson stayed and was murdered. The two old lovers had gone swimming earlier in the day.

Armstrong has since disappeared from the radar. Police have issued an arrest warrant, but the search has been unsuccessful for three weeks. According to US authorities, Armstrong is “armed and dangerous”.

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Kaitlin Armstrong. © AP

Ten Dam was with Strickland when he was told that Armstrong is a suspect. “We wanted to encourage Colin, distract him a bit,” Ten Dam said in his podcast Live Slow Ride Fast† “Actually, we would even sleep in his house, the house that was fully investigated and where the suspected murder weapon was found.”

The police called when Ten Dam and travel partner Thomas Dekker were sitting next to Strickland. “That his car was seen at the house where Moriah was murdered. You should have seen his face. He hadn’t told us anything. And he himself may have wanted to believe in Kaitlin’s innocence against his better judgement.”

The police are now convinced that Armstrong is the perpetrator. She was last seen at the airport, where she was catching a plane to New York.

“We thought we were doing something good for a friend,” said Ten Dam in his podcast. “But suddenly you are in the middle of a tragic ‘love triangle’. We thought we would also be stopped by the police, because we had just been with Colin for 24 hours shortly after the murder. That didn’t happen, but it was very scary.”

Ten Dam satisfied

At the end of the stage, Ten Dam was still satisfied with his fourth place. ,,I tried to make a show of it, but unfortunately there were more strong men. Still, I can be quite satisfied with my fourth place. I’m glad Ivar was able to win the stage.”