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Dirty Kanza adds 350-mile challenge to 2018 event

Published January 15, 2018

EMPORIA, Kan. (BRAIN) — For riders who find the standard 200-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race too short, organizers are adding the Dirty Kanza Extra Large, an invitation-only event to be held the same weekend as the regular race, June 1-3.

In its first season, the DKXL will be by invitation only, limited to 34 riders. The event is title-sponsored by Salsa Cycles.

The Dirty Kanza will continue to offer categories for 200, 100, 50, and 25 miles.

"DKXL is Dirty Kanza, taken back to the very basics of gravel. It's the DK that Joel and I first set out to create in 2006. It's long. It's hard. It's Extra-Large. It's totally rider-self-supported," said Jim Cummins, the executive director of Dirty Kanza Promotions.

DKXL riders will depart at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 1, from the All Things Gravel Expo in downtown Emporia. They are expected to complete the 350-mile trek sometime Saturday evening, around the same time DK200 riders are completing their 200-mile challenge. DKXL participants will be totally self-supported during the entire 350-mile challenge, having to rely solely on convenience stores along the route for any resupply. For navigation, riders will rely on GPS route files, along with maps and cue sheets provided by the event promoters.

"We will pilot DKXL in 2018 on a limited basis. Based on what we learn, we'll then open it up to the entire gravel cycling community in 2019. For this first edition of the DKXL, we hand-selected thirty-four riders who we believe have what it takes to succeed in this challenge. These are seasoned ultradistance gravel cyclists, many of who are multi-time DK veterans," said Cummins. Cummins said 34 is the number of riders who signed up for the inaugural DK200 in 2006. 

Mike Riemer, Salsa Cycles' marketing manager, said, "Personal growth and self-challenge are a huge part of what the Salsa brand encourages and promotes. We take those ideas and experiences and then work to make the best machines possible for them. The DKXL is very exciting to us because it represents a continued progression not just in a gravel event, but in the challenges that riders are looking to take on. I am positive that the Flint Hills of Kansas will dish out another richly rewarding experience."

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