Each year the Dirty Kanza gravel race seems to grow in stature and stories, and this year, we’re proud to bring you some of these tales through rider diaries, interviews and photo essays. Today we’ve got a great photo essay of Saturday’s racing, from start to finish, thanks to photographer Christopher Nichols.

Emporia, Kansas welcomes the 2017 Dirty Kanza gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

Emporia, Kansas welcomes the 2017 Dirty Kanza gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

Nichols is a photographer from Emporia, Kansas, who, like most of his town, plans his June around the Dirty Kanza gravel race. On Saturday, Nichols woke up just as early as the racers, and went to sleep much later than most of them, all in an attempt to document their impressive feats on the bike in the hills around Emporia. Looking through the photo essay he sent in, we think he was quite successful.

Kansas is not flat. Here's proof. 2017 Dirty Kanza gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

Kansas is not flat. Here’s proof. 2017 Dirty Kanza gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

What motivates Nichols to chase such a race? “I’ve always seen the world in a different way, but it all made sense when I picked up a camera,” Nichols explains. “I enjoy capturing moments that feed the soul, whether it’s through a landscape scene, astro photography, or events such as the Dirty Kanza.”

Have a look at his photo essay in the gallery below, and be sure to check out all his photos from Dirty Kanza on his website here.

2017 Dirty Kanza Photo Gallery by Christopher Nichols:

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The start line of the 2017 Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

The start line of the 2017 Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race. © Christopher Nichols

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