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The Lowell 50 returns for the spring event, with riders looking to improve from the Barry-Roubaix. 

The gravel lovers are back with a weekend of training in the legs, this time targeting the flat farm lands north of Lowell, Michigan. Some of Michigan’s toughest are registered to take on the fifty miler in a race that demands all new levels of legs and smarts.

The course features must less climbing than the Barry-Roubaix, but has a few steep ascents along the route. The bigger obstacle is the wind, which forces selections all of the time. The Grand Rapids riders scoff at day with wind speeds of under 30mph, and are at home in the buffeting breezes of the Lowell course. The climbers will have a few opportunities though, including the Rude Awakening climb that comes just a few miles into the race. Tucked in safe with a group and riders can hang even with the fastest folks, but on their own, and it’s a seriously long day on the bike.

In the Men’s race, gravel favorites Dan Korienek isn’t yet confirmed. The mantle of race favorite falls to BISSELL’s Nate Williams. He’ll be armed with teammate Derek Graham for the afternoon, a very tough rider ready to take a step up after the Barry-Roubaix March 23. Shawn Davision should also figure in the finale, as will Tom Linck from Leadout Racing.

The Chicago presence will also be felt, with Team TATI sending Loren Bo, Roderick De Jesus and Halupka to the 50 miler. Hagerty Racing is sending the Sovis Brothers, including 2011 Fall age group winner Wes Sovis, who’ll ride with full support of the team. The Master’s squad is sending Hal BeVier and Craig Webb, with Webb coming off a solid Barry-Roubaix and big goals for the weekend. Einstein Racing is putting the race in the capable hands of Mickey Humpula, who’s outstanding showing at Barry-Roubaix marks him as a dark horse heading into Lowell. He’ll be without teammates, but has the legs to stay in the hunt no matter what.

Hagerty is also sending Lauri Brockmiller, who’s fifth place at Barry-Roubaix makes her the favorite heading to Lowell. She’ll be up again Team TATI’s Katie Mann, RBS super-stud Sarah Temby, and Melissa Colflesh. Einstein Racing’s Chelsea Strate took an impressive 17th at Barry-Roubaix, and she’ll find the parcours more to her liking April 6. She’s got a solid sprint on her from her days on the track, and if she’s left hanging around late, could take a surprise win.