Welcome to The Dirt, the weekly news round-up on what is happening in the worlds of gravel, mountain biking, and all things rough and dirty.
Geoff Kabush to ride for Yeti
Three-time Olympian Geoff Kabush has a new bike sponsor for 2018. The 40-year-old said he’ll continue focusing on endurance mountain bike events, such as the Epic Off-Road Series and Breck Epic. But as we all know, Kabush is happy to hop into everything from a gravel event like Grinduro to an enduro stage race like Trans-Cascadia.
“As a kid studying magazine pictures of my idol John Tomac on a Yeti I used to dream of riding one of these bikes,” said Kabush. “As a bike nerd and a former engineering student who appreciates great design, I’m psyched about these bikes and where this brand will take me this year.”
Yeti president Chris Conroy said, “Geoff is a Yeti type of rider. He is a prolific racer that gets results, but always has time to sit down and have a meal with his fellow racers. He is a class act in all he does.”
It remains to be seen whether Kabush will need to tailor his patented cyclocross training regimen to include Coors instead of his preferred Belgian brews.
Eat your heart out, ‘Friday Night Lights’ — it’s high school gravel racing
Building off the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s (NICA) success, Dirty Kanza will offer a high school gravel race in 2018. Don’t worry kiddos, you’ll be finished in time for algebra. This first-time event will be 32 miles (not the usual 200 miles of Flint Hills gravel that Dirty Kanza is known for). Dirty Kanza has also established its Youth Cycling Fund to promote Kansas cycling and establish an NICA league.
Epic Rides nutrition sponsor
In other sponsorship news, the Epic Rides mountain bike series has partnered with Tailwind Nutrition in 2018. The series, which started with the Whiskey Off-Road and now includes three other events, is in its 14th year. The Durango-based company will stock feed zones with its Colorado-made Endurance Fuel that is free of artificial ingredients and common allergens like soy, dairy, and gluten, and is non-GMO.
Blowin’ up my feed: Rock Cobbler
This week, the Rock Cobbler gravel ride was all over Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, you name it. The 90-miler in Bakersfield, California had a few unique features that caught my eye. First of all, that hike-a-bike:
This looks like Southern California’s answer to the insanely hard Three Peaks Cyclocross race in the U.K.
But wait, it gets better. The course goes through a guy’s living room!
As you’d expect, Deadspin has the story on this new trend in gravel racing.
Postponed Pioneer prospering
And finally, one piece of good news for mountain bike stage racers: The Pioneer stage race looks to be on track with 70 percent of registration filled. The seven-day race was originally planned for this month. However, organizers and new owner Ironman decided to push it back to November 25-30, shortening the race to five days, and simplifying the logistics. That said, it’s only relatively shorter. With 450 kilometers of riding and 15,500 meters of climbing, I’d like to meet the rider who will wish they could keep racing for two more days when they finish in Queenstown.
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