2017 Almanzo Stories

The 2017 Almanzo Gravel Races took place May 19-20 in the small town of Spring Valley, Minnesota.  What was started by Chris Skogen with a small group of friends back in 2007 has grown over the years into something truly special.  The gravel community has embraced the Almanzo 100 as the "Granddaddy" of gravel races.  Spring Valley Tourism with the assistance of Penn Cycle & Fitness made sure that one of the largest free gravel races in the country continued with the traditions that founder Chris Skogen set forth for this yearly event.

Once again, the 2017 Almanzo 100, Royal 162 and Alexander 380 did not fail to challenge racers. This year presented weather conditions that brought about one of the lowest completion percentages in the history of these races.  Temps in the 40's, wind and pouring rain made it extremely tough  on both cyclists and their bikes.  I have compiled a list of racer accounts from blogs as well as links to photo galleries, some videos and local press.

Almanzo 100
Almanzo 100
Chasing While Living the Dream-Tim Savre

The Almanzo 100. The "fun gravel ride" that always turns out to be one of the hardest days of the year on the bike. The Almanzo has been on my bucket list since last year when I came up a little short finishing second to a well deserving winner that survived a solo break from nearly mile zero. As some have mentioned no one thought the weather could be worse than in 2016 but it certainly was. Read the full story

2017 Almanzo
ride on purpose-Drew Wilson

Almanzo is the hardest gravel race I do. It's harder than the longer races. It's harder than the 'harder' races. It's harder than the races promoted as "hard". The competition makes it and 2017 was no different in that regard. I knew going in that I would simply not be the strongest person in the field. It would take my best riding, strategy and some luck if I would have a chance.  Read the full story

Almanzo 2017 Race Report
Bike Iowa

This was my 5th Almanzo. It has always been a challenging ride that is fairly close to home. The gravel is fun to ride and the scenery is pretty cool. The City of Spring Valley MN has done a great job of taking over the race after race creator Chris Skogen backed off after some burn-out and life changes a couple years back. We miss Chris' passion, but appreciate that his dream still lives on. 
Read the full story

ALMANZO with Nadia DNF expierense
wildwayMN-Sveta Vold

ALMANZO 100 have special space in my heart.Because this is 1st race which I did in USA. I do not know what waiting me at this race, I just knew that everyone from Minneapolis bike community going to this race.  Read the full story

Almanzo Report: Cherry Grove Checkpoint
Guitar Ted Productions

The Almanzo 100, probably one of the most classic of gravel road events, was held again this past weekend up in Spring Valley, Minnesota. The 11th running of this event was marked by some brutal conditions. My son, Jacob, and I were up to help with the RidingGravel.com Cherry Grove Checkpoint. This is the tale of the day as I saw it....  Read the full story

Bikes Of The Almanzo
Guitar Ted Productions

Of course, as a dyed in the wool "bike nerd", I notice the bikes folks are riding at these gravel events. So, I took note of a few rigs and I have some comments to share. Let's take a look at what caught my eye at this year's Almanzo Cherry Grove checkpoint. (NOTE- Obviously there were other cool bikes. Not everyone went by me and some that did never stopped, so it is entirely possible I missed a lot of really cool rigs.)  Read the full story

2017 Almanzo 100 Ride Report - HOLY SH.T, that was brutal!
Hypno Toad

Temp was 40F at the start line with light rain, we rolled out into a steady 15 mph wind with gusts up to 25 mph. Rain never really stopped and temps might have gotten up to 50F. I want to congratulate every rider that clipped in at the start, that right there, that took commitment. Happily the headwind were on the start of the course, when we were in larger groups for more protection. I was able to hold with a big chase group for about 25-30 miles, and we could see the lead group on the straight roads. I felt good about that, but as the miles and cold started having effect, I found myself in no-man's land.  Read the full story

Race Report: 2017 Almanzo 100 – The Granddaddy of all Gravel Races
Gravel Cyclist-JOM

The Almanzo 100 touts itself as the race where it all began; the Granddaddy of all gravel races. If you call yourself a gravel cyclist, you’ve probably heard of Almanzo 100. Almanzo is a 100 mile gravel road race that starts and ends in the small Minnesota town of Spring Valley. Created in 2007 by then resident of Rochester, Minnesota, Chris Skogen, Almanzo first drew breath as a race from Rochester to Mankato, Minnesota.  Read the full story

Alexander 380

Lucien Gonzalez

It begins with last year's end, being treated for hypothermia in the ED at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien (PDC). Coming into this year's event, knew I'd be on my own and needing a better plan for heat trapping in the rain. Was modestly successful, as I stayed out of the hospital. More details further on. I planned for conditions to be similar to last year, but admit to a bit of surprise and annoyance upon realizing that repeat conditions were actually coming true. Welcome to HTFU. 
Read the full story


Rain, cold, wind strike Almanzo riders
Spring Valley Tribune-David Phillips

“Al-monsoon-zo,” commented one bicyclist taking cover from the rain under a downtown business overhang just prior to the start of the Almanzo 100 Saturday morning.  Read the full story


2017 Almanzo Gravel Races
Penn Cycle-Chris Chavie



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