The athletes. The gear. The small-town vibes. The mid-pack stories. The tales from the checkpoints. VeloNews will be covering it all this year, in and amongst the fields of the five most prestigious gravel races on the calendar.
Betsy Welch and Ben Delaney picked out gear for 104 miles of Oklahoma mud at The Mid South. Find out how it all fared.
Beer-can shims, peanut-butter mud, and mud-puddle bike washes. Racing in Oklahoma was wild.
Payson McElveen's normalized power was 323 watts for his winning ride. Hannah Finchamp's normalized power was 202 watts - for 8 hours.
Colin Strickland, winner of the 2019 Dirty Kanza, is among the favorites for The Mid South, being held March 14 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He'll be racing this new-graphic Allied Able with matching new Rapha Meteor x Allied kit. More than 2,000 racers signed up for the 100-mile race on the burnt-orange clay roads, but fewer than that will take the start because of the coronavirus. For the design, Strickland provided designers references from the hills around his home in Austin, Texas.
Danny Summerhill trained hard to qualify for the Olympics, but the U.S. men's team didn't make it. He's redirected that fitness towards gravel.
In muddy years at The Mid South, a singlespeed with huge clearance is a great option. And that's exactly what the Stormchaser is.
I'm headed to The Mid South, hoping to get the line first for the famous Bobby Wintle hug. Oh, and here are my coronavirus-avoidance tips as a long-time bike racer...