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Dirty Kanza organisers launch all-new gravel race in 2020

Big Sugar-NWA Gravel in 2020 (Image credit: Big Sugar and Life Time Events)

Organisers of the popular gravel race Dirty Kanza announced that it has launched a new event call the Big Sugar-NWA Gravel held in Bentonville, Arkansas on October 24, 2020. The event was developed by Life Time Events and will coincide with Outerbike Bentonville.

Big Sugar weekend will host two signature distances; the marquee Big Sugar will be 171.2km routed through the Ozarks that include approximately 2,700 metres of elevation gain; and the Little Sugar will be 78.8km. There is a limit of 800 participants and registration opens on November 15.

"Our team including myself, is passionate about cycling and these gritty, on-dirt races that allow riders to participate in an event that is bigger than themselves—that enriches their lives as well as the communities they take place in," said Kimo Seymout, president of Life Time Events.

"As we see more riders move from pavement to dirt, we are honored to be at the forefront of this change and be in a position to create truly unforgettable experiences that help grow and impact the cycling community in a positive way."

Life Time Events took over the management of Dirty Kanza in Kansas for the first time this year that saw Colin Strickland take the victory ahead of Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) and Alex Howes (EF Education First). Amity Rockwell won the women’s race ahead of Alison Tetrick and Sarah Max.

It also runs the well-known Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado won by Howard Grotts (Specialized). Quinn Simmons (Lux Cycling), who will race for Trek-Segafredo in 2020, was second and Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) was third. Rose Grant (Stans NoTubes-Pivot) won the women’s race ahead of Sarah Sturm (Specialized) and Angela Parra (Colombia).

Life Time Events chose Bentonville as the best place to expand in the off-road cycling events because of its strong community of cycling enthusiasts.

"Bentonville has become a hub for cycling, but it doesn’t yet have an iconic gravel race," Seymour said. "We’re really excited to bring the same Leadville and Dirty Kanza feel here to Bentonville and produce a life-enriching event that welcomes every rider, from beginner to experienced. We have a team that has a genuine passion for cycling -- particularly on dirt and gravel -- and, through Life Time, the resources to make it happen."

Life Time Events released the economic impact reports for each of its events with Dirty Kanza reaching $5.5 million to Emporia and Leadville Race Series reaching $18 million on Leadville, according to studies conducted by Dr. Shawn M. Rohlin, Department of Economics, Kent State University.