EMPORIA (KSNT) – A local man won a major award in a bike race that brought in thousands from across the country.

Hunter Williams, 21, of Emporia, claimed a victory in UNBOUND Gravel, a bike race that takes cyclists across 200 miles of gravel and dirt roads in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Williams came away from the competition as the winner of the single-speed category.

For someone to win in the single-speed category, their bike would have to have a single gear ratio. William and Coach Garret Seacat, head coach of Absolute Endurance, have been working together for seven years.

Hunter Williams (left) and Coach Garret Seacat (right). (Photo Courtesy/Garret Seacat)

“Hunter’s growth as a cyclist is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can lead to,” Seacat said.

According to Absolute Endurance, Williams had to endure several rain storms, long sections of mud and a large cut to one of his bike’s tires that could have been “race-ending” for him.

”I was in utter disbelief when I got off my bike and saw the tire,” Williams said. “I knew I had to do something drastic, so I grabbed two empty energy gel packets and took off my gloves and put them inside the tire to fill the substantial gash. I just hoped I could make it.”

Williams went on to win with a strong lead of over 40 minutes over his competitors in the single-speed category.

Absolute Endurance is described as a coaching company located in the Flint Hills which focuses on building up the endurance of its athletes, especially those who participate in events like UNBOUND Gravel. To learn more about Absolute Endurance, check out their website here.