Gravel
Riders and cows dotted the Kansas landscape....

Dirty Kanza Photo Essay: 206 miles of gravel and grit

Thousands of riders take on the challenge of a 206-mile gravel race through the Flint Hills of Kansas.
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Riders assembled in front of the Granada Theatre well before sunrise. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
With lightning in the distance, people were tracking a morning storm closely. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Riders were movin’ and groovin’ before the start. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
A local cheerleader squad volunteered to handle the task of staging riders at the start. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The fast riders needed to get there early to get that front row spot on the start line. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The start of the race was delayed 30 minutes because of lightning and riders took shelter on the front steps of a downtown church. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Everyone was gearing up for the big day. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Rain started falling, so why not grab a coffee? Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Keeping an eye on the storm. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The lights of the Granada Theatre Marquee reflected off the wet road surface in downtown Emporia. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Plenty of color and style could be found at the start. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The rain passed and 2,000 riders got ready to go. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
And they’re off. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Riders and cows dotted the Kansas landscape. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This looked like good puncture protection but a lot of rubber to push for 200 miles. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Early in the race there were still large groups riding together. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Tandem riders made their way around the course. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Overcast skies kept things cool throughout the morning. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This is the gravel that you have to contend with at the Dirty Kanza is rough and sharp. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The 2,000-plus group spit into countless mini pelotons. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Many riders used aero bars to keep out of the wind. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The first aid station was frantic with support teams doing everything they could to keep their riders in contact with the groups that they came in with. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Flat tires are common on the Flint Hills of Kansas. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This rider lost contact with a front group when he punctured. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The clouds started to burn off as the sun got higher in the sky. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
These punchy climbs add up to over 10,000 feet of climbing over the 200 miles ridden. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The lead group rounded a sketchy corner at speed. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Bursts of power were required to stay with the group. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Very little shade was found on course Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This guy was feeling strong. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The route started hitting some hills. The terrain plus the rising temperatures made it a tough day. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
There were some water crossings throughout the day. This guy took it full on. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Amanda Nauman motored though a water crossing. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This guy took the safe approach. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Ted King broke away from a small group late in the race and went on to win his second Dirty Kanza 200 title. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Some local residents made a day of it setting up shade tents in their yard providing support and encouragement. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Future Gravel King? Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
These riders took a wrong turn by following the 2017 cue sheets. A local resident encouraged them to back track and ride the proper route to avoid a disqualification. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Late in the afternoon, the heat and the wind took a toll on the riders. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
This guy just put his head down and kept on going. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
A Coke always does the trick late in the day. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
The course took riders over an old Union Pacific bridge. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
Dirty Kanza 200 2018
With 20 miles to go and plenty of headwind, it was advantageous to find a group and work together to get to the finish line. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
2018 Dirty Kanza 200
Everyone was cooked by the time they reached the finish. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com