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Friday, June 25, 2010

Tour Divide: 2,745 miles ultra-cycling challenge

Tour Divide is an ultra-cycling challenge to race self-supported along all 2,745 miles of Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Tour Divide has no designated rest periods or set distances a racer must travel daily. The clock runs non-stop. She or he who can ride the fastest while making fewer, shorter stops usually wins. With an average time-to-completion of three weeks in the saddle, TD is the longest–arguably most challenging–mountain bike race on the planet. It is a contest for the ultra-fit but only if ultra-prepared for myriad contingencies of backcountry biking.
Tour Divide was born of inspiration from John Stamstad's watershed `99 Divide ITT, and the US border to border challenge known as the Great Divide Race (ca.`04). TD observes all the historical Divide racing controls save length. It pushes the envelope further by staging opening day racing from the top of the GDMBR in Banff, AB, where MTB-legal wilderness in Banff National Park serves as an immediate test of mettle. The Canadian section adds only 10% more trail, yet rewards riders with unforgettable geology, rugged terrain, abundant wildlife, and an international flair cycling has come to expect from grand tour racing.
Whether voyager or voyeur, Tour Divide is a dramatic tribute to both human capacity to endure and Adventure Cycling's excellence in crafting North America's crown jewel of off-pavement touring routes.

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