12 Jun 2019
Full Speed Ahead and EF Pro Cycling Take on Dirty Kanza 200
There are many iconic names of cycling oriented towns and regions such as Roubaix, Liege and Sienna. Emporia can now be listed as an iconic US race region made notorious by the Dirty Kanza 200; America’s premier gravel event. Located in the Flint Hills of Kansas, the race boasts literally hundreds of miles of gravel roads running through rural farmlands providing everything any gravel grinder could ever hope for.
Inspired by a group of friends who decided to ride 200 miles using only intuition and a map, DK200 officially launched in 2006 with 34 official starters. Fast forward to 2019 with 3,000 riders at the starting line racing from 25, 100, 200, and the epic overnight DKXL 350 miles race (which starts the day before). This expansion of DK saw the industry expo “All Things Gravel” expand from 50 vendors in 2018 to over a hundred this year with Full Speed Ahead listed among them.
Full Speed Ahead had a gravel-heavy focus at Dirty Kanza featuring the AGX family of Adventure Gravel Cross components. Some of the highlighted products included the new K-Wing AGX carbon drop bar and the K-Force Modular crankset, which set the standard for Super-Compact chainring configurations (perfect for any gravel or road adventure). Paired with the bars and cranksets are the all-new AGX wheelset, tubeless ready and through axle/QR compatible. They are available in both 27.5 and 29 sizes.
Lending credibility and the growth of gravel racing and riding, Dirty Kanza attracted no less than 4 World Tour riders including 3 from Vision/FSA-sponsored team EF Proc Cycling Team. Alex Howes, Lachlan Morton, and Taylor Phinney raced in support of DK and even stopped by the FSA booth for a team meet-and-greet signing the day before race day. In addition, FSA ran a daily raffle giveaway for gravel influenced products such as Power Touch bar tape, Trimax Rear Hydration Systems and K-Wing AGX handlebars as the grand prize.
Gravel specialist Colin Strickland won the day with a new course-setting record. Morton and Howes finished 3rd and 4th respectively, behind 2nd placed Peter Stetina of Trek-Segafredo, while Taylor Phinney raced at his own pace taking in the DK experience in with a T-200 finish. With the growth of gravel racing globally, expect to see more top professional enter these races as teams and sponsors look for wider audiences and “Alternative Race Programs”.