Thousands of cyclists hit the Flint Hills for renowned Emporia ride

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - Nearly 4,000 riders hit the Flint Hills this weekend for one of the most premier, ultra-endurance gravel grinder races in the world.

Now under a new name, the Garmin Unbound is in its 15th year.

“This is an iconic event,” Richard Verney, a top-five finisher in the 50-mile ride, said. “Incredible. I mean, really, really nice. The last ten miles was definitely a bit of a push, some headwind and longer flatter sections, but just a great course.”

“It helps bring the community together, to support each other, brings money into the community,” Shawn Russell, Emporia-native and second-year volunteer, said.

The Emporia race attracts riders from all 50 states and 38 countries. Verney came all the way from North Carolina to take part.

“My first time here. Just an incredible town, great people, and just a great course out there as well,” he said.

“Emporia’s awesome,” Marjorie Mayes, a 25-mile rider from Missouri, said. “Great city, really welcoming. The people here are beyond-compare nice.”

The junior, 25 and 50-mile races started Friday morning, with riders rolling in hours later.

As one race ended — another began. The 350-milers took off Friday afternoon. They’ll race through the night and cross the finish line Saturday.

The 100 and 200-mile races take off Saturday. For results, click here.

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