Tour Divide under way! World's longest MTB race!

Jun 14, 2010
The 2010 Tour Divide started last Friday.

I don't see any mention here at Cycling News. ? (They usually cover it.)

49 self-supported amateur racers are on course, headed down the spine of the country, from Canada to Mexico.

2745 miles!

Check out the live SPOT tracking at:

So far 20 riders have passed the second checkpoint at 367 mountainous miles in about 2 days. 180 miles a day! The first two were clustered an hour apart at 1 day 21 hours. Several others hit the checkpoint a few hours later. In a race this big, that's close action.

The first SS rider -- and first woman! -- crossed the 2nd checkpoint at 2 days 7 hours.

Get ready for a few weeks of exciting armchair action!

Racers call in podcasts when they find time and a cell signal or payphone. Some also post pics and reports to blogs. In a race this long there's a lot of adventure, emotion, place-changes, encounters with big critters, big weather and interesting people.

The current leader, Matthew Lee, hopes to break his old record and average 160 miles a day for 17 days. ...Carrying all his gear, taking care of himself.

No entry fee, no prizes -- I'm into it!
Jun 14, 2010
New record for Tour Divide! -- World's longest MTB race!

Matthew Lee won the "Tour Divide" this morning at 1 a.m.

2745 miles in 17 days, 16 hours, 13 minutes.

Down the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico.

It's a new course record.

(However, there was a reroute on one portion due to a forest fire -- we'll see how that effects the record.)

50 riders started, 24 still on course.

This race is dedicated to Dave Blumenthal, a Vermont racer who died while on the course as a result of an accident.

The "TD" has no entry fee, no prizes. Check it out to see what Grand Tour racing for the pure love of it is all about...

News, MTBcasts and video at

Ongoing discussion at,836.700.html

I wonder why didn't cover it this year. ?
Mar 19, 2009
JeffOYB said:
I wonder why didn't cover it this year. ?

Not a sanctioned race, grassroots adventure racing = no media coverage.

I think adventure racing is where it's at, but there's no prize money, no big names attached to big salaries, no drug scandals, and no pretentious attitudes. Would make for a great story if you dig the lack of evil.
Jun 14, 2010
Ah, but there IS a TON of media coverage of this wordclass event. There's even a major documentary now out. At least one recent book about it. "Mountain Flyer" magazine has a reporter traveling along and covering it. It's just CN that's outta the loop, newswise. Odd. Like you say, it's a good story. Different...but different is good, right?

I think it's kinda neat how it passes through dozens of small ranch towns, valleys, mountain resorts. Quite a few cool bike shops have become heroic characters in this drama along the way, as racers roll in for repairs, news and brother/sisterhood. All the neat restaurants, diners and hidey-holes, too.

It works a lot like the other Grand Tours. You ride small roads through valleys then climb up into the passes, then come back down again and maybe roll through a town.

Really, it seems a lot like what the major tours USED to be like, way back when -- maybe 100 years ago.

The "TD" maybe seems like it would be a lonely race, but really it's not. It's a culturally rich area -- and naturally spectacular.

We "TD" race-watchers get to learn and experience a lot thru the reports, audio, video and pics that racers and media present along the way.

Like how the other major tours show us the culture and beauty of the European cities and mountains they pass through, the "TD" gives a similar effect.

...Only, like you said, without any nastiness. It's a fresh, low-key thing. But still Grand. It's also neat in that the riders take care of themselves. They're not pampered. Nobody does their thinking for them. Their reports and phone-in's are bright and funny, often.

I don't take anything away from the pro tours. Complexity and specialization are cool, too. I'll be following another Tour soon enough!

...But reminders about our ROOTS are important!

...And of course the Divide Region also just isn't covered by another race. If you want a unique "big picture" window into that part of the world, take a look!