A gravel race in Iowa in February? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, for the past several years, not much.

Last year, we took an irreverent look at the annual CIRREM gravel event held outside Des Moines, Iowa and found temperatures in the 50s, albeit with a bit of wind. Not bad for a metric century when most folks in the Midwest are stuck inside on the trainer. In fact, the last three years have all had unseasonably warm temperatures.

This year, well that is another story.

First held in 2009, CIRREM got off to an auspicious start. The CIRREM results page tallies historical weather conditions, and it describes the 2009 event thusly, “25-34 degrees sleet/rain/snow windy and wet/soft gravel.”

As CIRREM 2019 neared, race organizer Kent Carlson had a sense this year could give 2009 a run for its money. “I still think that first year had the worst weather to date,” he said a week before the event. “Though I will say if the forecast holds, 2019 could be a contender.”

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