Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Midwest in 2022

The team at Strambecco rated the Top Gravel events in the Midwest for 2022 based on a variety of 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,   Midwest terrain features of Strambecco’s best list are generally flat or rolling, but routes often include steep short climbs with 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 find a strong correlation between 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 contact us here or send us a note at

Best Road Cycling Events in the Midwest 2022

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Individual Events Listings

Location: Hastings, Michigan
Date: March 26
Barry-Roubaix is known as the World’s Largest Gravel Race and regularly recognized as one of the best gravel events/races world over.  It is a classic road/off-road cycling race featuring a […]

Unbound Gravel (Dirty Kanza)
Location: Emporia, Kansas
Organizer: Life Time Events
Date: June 4
Taking place in the Flint Hills and Kansas Prairie, Unbound Gravel is the granddaddy of Gravel events and a true bucket list event for gravel aficionado’s.  Formerly known as Dirty […]

Pine Island Gravel Odyssey (formerly Gold Rush)
Location: Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota
Organizer: Ridge Rider Racing
Date: June 11
The Pine Island Gravel Odyssey is the event formerly known as the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder.  This is South Dakota’s premiere gravel event which operates under a special use permit […]

Solstice Gravel Grinder
Location: Beatrice, Nebraska
Date: June 18
The Solstice Gravel Grinder is coming on it’s 6th year starting as a grassroots event that’s gaining popularity every year.   The ride starts and ends in Beatrice, Nebraska and journey’s […]

Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder
Location: Au Gres, Michigan
Organizer: Michigan Adventure Racing
Date: June 25
The Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder is a difficult but absolutely stunning ride across the handle of Michigan. Starting on the east coast and crossing the entire Michigan Peninsula (Mitten), […]

Ironbull Red Granite Grinder
Location: Wausau, Wisconsin
Organizer: Ironbull
Date: October 15
Winding its way through beautiful central Wisconsin is the Red Granite Grinder, a premier US gravel event.  The event is produced by Ironbull,  a charitable organization that promotes outdoor adventure […]

Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra
Location: St. Charles, Iowa
Date: October 22
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, […]

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