Rough course draws competitive cyclists from all over to Pratt for the Open Range Gravel Race

Brandon Case
Pratt Tribune
A road race competitor from 2019 rides across pastureland in Pratt or Barber county, part of the Open Range Gravel Race course.

After a year’s hiatus, the Open Range Gravel Race is back on and in less than a month, more than 400 bicyclists from 15 states will descend upon Pratt. On April 23 and 24 all ages will pit their skills against nature on cow paths, sand roads and hill-filled backroads in Pratt and Barber counties.

Participants will travel from as far away as Oregon and Florida to ride a course which departs from Lemon Park and then heads south into Pratt County before winding through the Gypsum Hills of Barber County (including several miles on private ranch lands), and finally circling back into Pratt.

While the race component of the event is one day, the Open Range Gravel Tour happens over the course of two days.

This year’s 200K Race will feature numerous cat- egories, including the fol- lowing: Men's Open, Women's Open, Men's Masters (50+), Women's Masters (50+), Single Speed (fixed gear bike), Fatbike (tire width mini- mum 3.8"), Tandem. (no e-bikes or recumbent).

A noncompetitive100K race will also be part of the Saturday event.

According to Eric Sutton, race organizer, proceeds from the 2020 event raised $6,400, with bene- ficiaries including the Pratt Public School Foundation, Father’s House of Worship in Sun City, and the North- ern Barber County Recreation Commission in Med- icine Lodge.

The first and second place winners of last year’s 200K Open Range Gravel Race, Jonathan Cavner and Nick Gould, both hailed from Colorado Springs and also had a phenomenal average speed of 17.9 mph. This would be considered a good average speed on a smooth, paved road, unlike the bumpy cow pasture, rough and sandy dirt roads that were part of the race route.