Dirty Kanza 200: Dan Hughes and Rebecca Rusch repeat wins

By Mike Cushionbury

Photos by Eric Benjamin/Adventure Monkey

In this year’s eighth annual Dirty Kanza gravel road race riders doing the full loop were punished with nearly 100 miles of strong head and cross winds across the open prairies, resulting in slightly slower finishing times. Nonetheless, local favorite Dan Hughes (Sunflower Outdoor and Bike) took a commanding overall victory, claiming his fourth DK 200 title. Specialized-Red Bull’s Rebecca Rusch took the women’s category (and 11th overall) for the second year in a row even with a short trip off course that cost her some time.

Riders line up in downtown Emporia, Kansas, for the 6am start. Groups are divided up by expected finishing times with the fastest riders at the front in the 12-hour grouping. Despite the high winds, this years event saw perfect, 72-degree temps and dry, fast roads. This year’s course also had increased climbing compared to previous events.

Hughes crosses the finish line with no one in sight behind him. His finishing time for 203 miles was 12:03:39

 Rusch alone in the Flint Hills of Kansas on her way to a finishing time of 12:51:04.

John Bayley, left, (Ride Studio Cafe) crosses the line with David Wilcox (Mad Alchemy/Verge.) Bayley claimed third overall. Wilcox was fourth overall and the winning Open class rider. The top three overall were all in the Vet 40-plus class.

Jay Petervay (Salsa/Fitzgerald Bicycles) rides to second overall, 19 miuntes behind Hughes and only two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Wilcox after 200 miles of windy racing.

(Left to right) Jim Lehman (Carmichael Training), Yuri Hauswald (Roctane Ultra), Matt Brown (High Gear Cyclery) and Garth Prosser (Specialized Factory Racing/Ashford Surgical/Pura) cross the line together in 12:33:30. Brown took third in Open Men and Lehman, Hauswald and Prosser all stood on the podium for a shared fourth in Veteran Men.

Team CF’s Selene Yeager had a lock on second in the Women’s category untill a missing course marker sent her off course after checkpoint three and dropped her back to third. Later, near the finish she went off course again. Her final milage for the day was a whopping 213.6 miles.

Monika Sattler (Grand Performance) upped the pace after checkpoint three to gap Yeager and take second in the Women’s category.

The open, windy roads of Kansas. The Dirty Kanza began in 2006 after executive director Jim Cummins and co-founder Joel Dyke participated in the 350-mile Trans-Iowa gravel race. That first year only 38 riders entered the DK 200. For information on the 2014 event, which will be on Saturday May 31st (it’s always held the first Saturday after Memorial Day) go to dirtykanza200.com



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