Situated 30 minutes northeast of Kansas City, Missouri, the roads of Excelsior Springs give quick access to a huge network of gravel roads winding through the hilly countryside.  The views give way to towering hills, tree lined roads, streams, farmland and river flats (river flats eliminated for 2019 due to flooding).  Both the 52-mile and 100-mile courses follow challenging routes that will leave you with an appreciation of the area.


Sometimes you have to find an old gravel road and see where it takes you...

Great event! One of the most challenging races I’ve done. Very well organized and all the volunteers were awesome! I will be back next year!

I predict this will become a VERY popular race. You come for the hills and the amazing festival! Looking forward to doing this every year and having three kiddos enjoy the festivities!

Couldn’t have been a better first year event. Very well done! Pumped for the next years ride. Thank you very much for a local awesome ride.

Gravel grinding enthusiasts take note: The Opal Wapoo Gravel Grinder combines the best of both worlds - a challenging, scenic gravel route that starts and ends in a town full of hospitality (and free beer at the finish!), Excelsior Springs. The race starts and ends during the Waterfest, an annual festival celebrating Excelsior Springs' mineral water heritage.  You will be led out of town by a 1953 Johnny Popper (John Deere) tractor, and within a few miles you will leave pavement and hit the gravel roads and journey through the Missouri countryside.  You will travel down hilly, curvy, flat, tree-lined roads, past streams, possibly through streams in a low-water crossing, in an area where the terrain is ever-changing. Cars are few and far between, and folks will wave at your from their fields as you ride by.  You will ride through the Crooked Creek Conservation area.  As you ride back into town, the party will be waiting for you at the finish in the middle of the Waterfest, an annual festival in Excelsior Springs.  The finish line will receive you with a free beer and a bite to eat provided by local businesses.  This of course will only wet your appetite for all the live music, great food and hospitality that Excelsior Springs and its annual Waterfest have to offer.

Be prepared to be challenged - you will ride hills, hills and more hills!  There is roughly 8,000+ feet of climb on the 100-mile Wapoo race and around 5,500+ feet of climb on the 52-mile Opal race. These gravel routes mix in long, gradual hills with short, steep hills.  But what goes up must come down, with an almost equal amount of descent!  Discover the hidden gems in the gravel roads of Ray County, which twist and curve their ways through classic midwest countryside.


race weekend

The Opal Wapoo will start and finish in the middle of the Waterfest, an annual festival in Excelsior Springs celebrating the town's mineral water heritage.  This challenging new race helps showcase the hospitality in the small town of Excelsior Springs.

Learn More →

register now

Registration opens on December 15, 2018.  Click here for registration information and entry fees, and plan to be at your computer on opening day to sign up for the inaugural Opal Wapoo Gravel Grinder!

Registration →

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