This year Salsa is sending the Dirty 11.5 to participate in 2016's Dirty Kanza 200. David Markman is Dirty No. 7.
Salsa Cycles: What is your goal at this year’s DK200?
David Markman: This will be my second year riding in DK, and the obvious goal would be to do better than I did last year (19:53). But more than simply beating my time, I am using DK this year to be my final readiness test for the Tour Divide, which starts the following weekend. Mentally and physically, I feel like I will be able to cut at least four hours off of last year's time. I want to finish before the sun sets in 14:43 flat.
SC: What is your biggest fear going into the event?
DM: Weather and road conditions are the variables of DK that can scramble even the best-made plans. I have trained harder and prepared more for this season’s races than ever before, so I feel I am ready for whatever DK throws at me. The addition of a third checkpoint this year will help make this year’s race less stressful.
SC: What have you done to prepare, and how are you combating that fear?
DM: This year I hired a coach to help me train (Lelan Dains) and prepare for an exciting year of endurance gravel riding. DK will be the fifth of 14 century-plus rides planned this year, in addition to the Tour Divide. Consistent and proper training has had obvious improvements in the way I ride and prepare for a race.
SC: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Dirty Kanza event?
DM: To see all of the great riders I have met and spoken to all year. The Dirty Kanza 200 for me is like a school reunion, but with people who I actually want to see again. The gravel riding community is made up of so many awesome people, some I only get to see once a year. DK brings so many really great riders together for a really great ride and time.
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