200 miles of bad roads - Dirty Kanza 200 race report [Dirt Rag]
By Josh Patterson, photos by Josh Patterson and Corey Godfrey
At the Dirty Kanza 200, the volatile Kansas weather shapes the outcome as much as the racers' fitness and preparation. Scorching heat, soul-crushing headwinds, and high humidity often upset the best-laid plans. Last year an afternoon outbreak of severe thunderstorms forced many racers to seek shelter in barns and ditches, but this year mild temperatures and light winds created ideal conditions for 200 miles of gravel road racing.
Here’s the winning video from last year’s DK200 video contest. (Ben Thornton was not lucky enough to find refuge in a barn.)
This year unseasonably mild temperatures, light and variable winds, and rain showers several days prior—just enough to pack down the gravel—conspired to make this year’s race one that would see previous records broken.
At Friday night’s pre-race meeting many riders talked in hushed voices about who would break the 12-hour barrier, and best former 24-hour National Champion Cameron Chamber’s four-year-old record of 11 hours and 58 minutes. Would it be DK200 stalwart Dan “the diesel” Hughes, owner of Sunflower Outdoor and Bike in Lawrence, Kansas; Lincoln Nebraska’s Corey “Cornbread” Godfrey; or would the Queen of Pain, three-time World Champion Rebecca Rusch chick everyone?