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Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Midwest in 2023

Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Midwest in 2023

Updated Nov 7, 2023

The team at Strambecco rated the Top Gravel events in the Midwest for 2023 based on various factors, including reputation, route quality, location, rider feedback, and the overall uniqueness of the event or race.  Spanning Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, South/North Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, and Minnesota, the Midwest terrain features of Strambecco’s best list is generally flat or rolling. Still, routes often include steep short climbs with a significant elevation gain over the full event route.

If we had to pick the best of the best, or those you’d classify as bucket list events, we’d recommend Barry-Roubaix (Michigan)  in March or Unbound Gravel (Kansas) in June.  Unbound Gravel is the event formerly known as Dirty Kanza.  Both events are quintessential gravel experiences that helped kick off the gravel boom in America.    We also strongly correlate the best events and professional event producers.  In the Midwest, premiere event producers include Lifetime Events, UCI Gravel World Series, and Monuments of Cycling.

Strambecco does not list every event.  We strive to identify and review events that are special and noteworthy.  If you have suggestions on other events we should consider or review, please get in touch with us here or send us a note at

Best Road Cycling Events in the Midwest 2023


Barry-Roubaix is known as the World’s Largest Gravel Race and is regularly recognized as one of the best gravel events/races world-over.  It is a classic road/off-road cycling race featuring a variety of…

Unbound Gravel (Dirty Kanza)

In the Flint Hills and Kansas Prairie, Unbound Gravel is the granddaddy of Gravel events and a true bucket list event for gravel aficionados.  Formerly known as Dirty Kanza Promotions, the event…

Pine Island Gravel Odyssey (formerly Gold Rush)

The Pine Island Gravel Odyssey was formerly known as the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder and is rated by Strambecco as one of the best gravel grinders in the Midwest.   This is South…

Solstice Gravel Grinder

The Solstice Gravel Grinder is coming on its 7th year, starting as a grassroots event and gaining popularity yearly.   The ride starts and ends in Beatrice, Nebraska, and journeys through the communities…

Gravel Worlds

Celebrating its 14th annual Gravel Worlds in 2023!  Testament to the quality of the event, Garmin is the title sponsor, and Strambecco rates the event among the Best Midwest Gravel Events. The…

Belgian Waffle Ride Michigan

This Belgian Waffle Ride Series event returns in 2023 after a successful 2022 debut.  Produced by Monuments of Cycling, this event is already so acclaimed that Strambecco has already given it a…

Ironbull Red Granite Grinder

Winding its way through beautiful central Wisconsin is the Red Granite Grinder, a premier US gravel event, rated by Strambecco as one of the best in the Midwest.    The event is…

Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Kansas

Monuments of Cycling brought its iconic Belgian Waffle Ride format to Kansas for the first time in 2021.  The event continues to receive rave reviews, and Strambecco rates it as one of…

Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra

Whether you are new to ultra-distance racing or a seasoned veteran, you will find the challenge you are looking for at The Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra. Choose from 70, 150, or 200…

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