Photo c. Panaracer/Kim Morris

Now that the dust has settled on another 200 mile race through the Flint Hills of Kansas, the riders are getting some much deserved recovery time. That includes the Dirty Kanza 200 overall winner Mat Stephens, who not only won in his debut DK200, but did so with a freshly broken rib. Gravel racing seems to be one of those categories where equipment choices still vary greatly (to great debate as well), so it’s always interesting to see what each racer is running. Stephens is a member of the Panaracer Gravel Team, so naturally he was running Panaracer tires – opting for 700 x 40c GravelKing SKs. Set up tubeless on 28mm wide Stan’s NoTubes Avion wheels, apparently tires pressures were set at 26.5 psi for the front and 29.5 psi for the rear. Mounted up to a 3T Exploro with aero bars and a Shimano hydraulic group, Stephens crossed the line in 10 hours, 49 minutes, and 8 seconds.

For the women, it was Alison Tetrick who set a record in the process…

Among the 2,000+ racers in various categories and distances, Alison Tetrick took home the women’s victory and set a new course record of 11 hours, 41 minutes, and 40 seconds. Alison opted for a suspension equipped Cannondale Slate. Also her first time at the DK200, Alison seemed to have no issues settling into the full 200 miles. Congratulations to the champs, but also everyone who finished such a grueling race!




  1. The winners average 18-19 mi/hour… including bathroom breaks and what not… over a 200 mi course… on dirt roads… RESPECT!!!

  2. Suspension and aero is everything on gravel! (In that order.) Most aero wheels will not properly accommodate such large tires (i.e., aero profiling) and are rougher ride. So kit and aerobars seem to be the go too aero solution.

    If gravel becomes big enough, make no mistake special “aero gravel” wheels will start emerging… the bike industry thrives on niche… just give it time.

  3. I love my Exploro for gravel racing. It is noticeably faster than my round tube Ti gravel bike. With Compass Barlow Pass tires (38mm gravel slicks) it is basically as fast (for the same watts) as my road bike with 25mm tires on pavement.

    I was worried that the geometry wouldn’t be as stable at 30-40mph downhills but it is rock solid. It is also much easier to climb out of the saddle – the short chainstays stick the rear wheel to the dirt without as much rider input.

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