Specialized Partners With Inaugural Race, Belgian Waffle Ride Kansas Products

September 8, 2021


San Diego, CA // Lawrence, KS – (September 8, 2021) – Monuments of Cycling, a premier cycling events producer, has partnered with Specialized on its inaugural Belgian Waffle Ride KS (BWR KS) event to be held on October 29 – 31, 2021 in Lawrence, Kansas. Specialized will be the Official Bicycle and Bicycle Fitting Technology (Retül) partner of the event working closely with Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop to host the grueling bike race for the Steve Tilford Foundation.

For the first time, Monuments of Cycling is bringing its iconic form of racing to Kansas, where a vibrant cycling culture anxiously awaits this new spectacle to be known as The Hell of the Mid-West. Now with Specialized onboard, the BWR KS promises a deep field and exciting support from the leading bicycle brand. The BWR, which is celebrating 10 years in 2021, will provide professional and amateur cyclists alike the opportunity to ride the most coveted roads, punctuated by dozens of off-road sectors over a 111-mile route throughout the northeast region of Kansas, giving the event its unique complexion.

Created as an extremely challenging race in the spirit of the great European one- day Spring Classics, BWR, with a Belgique theme, is truly a unique race in North America. There will be three distances on offer in Lawrence; the longer Waffle Ride and the half-as-long Wafer Ride, plus a shorter Wanna Ride for those looking to get a taste of the fun without the training commitment of the longer events.

This inaugural BWR Kansas race, like the other BWRs in California, N. Carolina, and Utah will have a deep field of professional riders and an expansive list of hungry amateur riders drawn to the unparalleled opportunity to race alongside their heroes, like World Tour rider, Peter Stetina, who won the 2019 and 2021 California editions and came in second to Keegan Swenson in the 2020 BWR Utah event in Cedar City. The Waffle will be offering a prize purse to the top five riders, both female and male! Racers and event patrons will be treated to Belgian waffles, Belgian ales, mussels & frites, all sorts of culinary delights, more waffles, and more beer on race day.

As Steve Tilford would have wanted it, the Waffle race promises plenty of punishment for entrants and their bicycles along its dynamic parcourse, which features 8,000 feet of relentless, undulating climbing and over 80-miles of off-road terrain that harken to the teeth-rattling cobblestones of Europe’s most grueling races.

Festivities will kick off Friday, October 29th with a Kermesse Kross (think cyclocross criterium) race for riders to compete in and fans to enjoy just a short walk from the event Expo area. Immediately following Kermesse Kross, festivities will swing into high gear with the Steve Tilford Foundation hosting an outdoor concert and VIP event held at Sunflower Outdoor and Bike. VIP’s will be treated to a Halloween themed party (costumes encouraged) with Belgian Food and Ales, as well as a silent auction. There will also be a special race-related presentation riders won’t want to miss, the pros interviewed, and cyclists will get to rub shoulders with all the celebrities on hand for the epic Halloween weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Expo will take place in downtown Lawrence, promising to be Kansas’ coolest cycling party of the year! Expo festivities kick off Saturday, October 30th at 10:00 a.m. and are open to the public. There will be a Kermesse Kross race for riders to compete in and fans to enjoy. The Belgian theme will be in full force with a host of other unique entertainment features. Attendees can peruse a wide range of offerings from event sponsors and over 40 vendors!

“Specialized is thrilled to support BWR Lawrence, Kansas,” said Fiona Swartz, Specialized Marketing Manager. “It was the perfect trifecta of supporting the Steve Tilford Foundation, supporting our independent business dealer Sunflower Bike Shop, and formally joining in on the BWR Gravel experience. All of this combined with Halloween weekend will make this event extra festive and fun!”

“We are so lucky to partner with Specialized and our friends at the Steve Tilford Foundation and Sunflower, who will be hosting the event,” said Michael Marckx, BWR creator. “Having known and raced with Steve, who was a Specialized athlete, it is such a joy that we all get to partner with the Foundation to support its mission to help young people of all backgrounds find and chase their passion through cycling. My grandfather grew up here and attended KU, so it’s with great joy that we get to share this unique event with this fervent cycling community.”


Monuments of Cycling is committed to delivering the most unique cycling events in the country, offering experiences for the most elite athletes on the planet as well as those in awe of them, through the creation of world class races that engage riders in myriad and unexpected ways. Our mission is to inspire riders of all stripes to reach, grow and aspire to new levels of fulfillment and joy, finding unusual ways to test their physical and mental fortitude. To learn more, visit www.MonumentsofCycling.com.


The Steve Tilford Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit private foundation established to honor the life and legacy of Steve Tilford by paying forward his passion for cycling. The Steve Tilford Foundation is determined to help young people find and chase their passion in the sport of cycling by promoting education, mentorship, and access to quality cycling opportunities. Always guided by Steve Tilford’s true spirit of dedication, teamwork and respect, the foundation works every day to improve lives and nurture healthy communities. For more info, visit www.stevetilfordfoundation.org.


Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop, a locally owned and operated business, was established in 1972 to provide the surrounding community with high quality gear and clothing for outdoor adventures. Located in the heart of Downtown Lawrence, Sun- flower Outdoor & Bike Shop is staffed by enthusiasts seven days a week and can be reached at (785) 843-5000 or on the web at www.sunfloweroutdoorandbike.com.