Cameron Chambers, winner of the 2008 Dirty Kanza 200, with his wife, Amber - Photo Heartland Racing Promotions
We're back from Emporia, Kansas, and the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel grinder, and it was an incredible race on a lot of levels. Former 24 Hour National Champion, Cameron Chambers won this year's edition of the DK200 in a record time of 11:58:32. DK200 Promoter, Jim Cummins finished a solid fourth, just ahead of me, despite my best efforts to catch him in the final miles. I ended up finishing fifth overall, still in the daylight, some three hours faster than my finish time last year. More importantly, I had fun, rode more than 203 miles with lots of cool people and met several new friends -- not too bad for a single day on the bike!
The front of the pack about an hour into the race. That's eventual second-place finisher, Dan Hughes, Cameron Chambers and yours truly from left-to-right. Photo: Cornbread
Though my body gave me varying levels of performance throughout the day, my Salsa La Cruz performed flawlessly throughout the day. The 38c Schwalbe Marathon Cross tires proved to be a great choice too. They were more than a match for the sharp Kansas flint rock, and I was one of the fortunate few who didn't experience a single flat tire over the entire course of the day.
Ambassador: If ever there was someone who deserved a full-ride sponsorship, this guy is it. Despite eight flat tires on his Bianchi Cross Project 2003, Cornbread kept a smile on his face and had a great time... and still finished seventh. What a stud... Photo: CornbreadCorey "Cornbread" Godfrey ended up finishing in seventh, after powering off the front with Cameron Chambers in the first 90 miles, only to succumb to a string of not one, not two, but EIGHT flats and a ruined Michelin tire casing over the course of the rest of the race. Incredible... His performance was the "Hard Man" story of the year, and will be one that will be talked about among those who witnessed it for years to come. It is the stuff of legend. Good show, my friend.
I'm not going to write too much here, because I'm working on a post for the Salsa Amigos Blog, and I'm shooting to have that up Monday, but in short, ten folks from Lincoln rolled down to Emporia for the 'Kanza this year, each with a unique reason for being there. When all was said and done, we ended up with an 80 percent success rate. Eight of us from Lincoln finished the mission this year, and that my friends, is pretty darn sweet for a race this tough. There's nothing trivial about the Dirty Kanza 200. It's hardcore fun.