The Tour Divide endurance bike race is now entering its fourth day, with the lead rider, Ollie Whaley, SPOT tracking somewhere near Ovando, Montana.
The Tour Divide is a rugged, backcountry 2,745 mile journey from Banff, Canada to Antelope, New Mexico on the U.S.-Mexico border. Billed as the world’s toughest bike races, the Tour Divide is one of the longest off-road mountain bike races in the world and requires the riders to be self-supported: they pack everything they need on their person except for what they can purchase on the road. It’s called Bikepacking.
More than 100 riders lined up to start in Banff on June 8. Whaley, the current leader, is a rookie to the race. He’s from Christchurch, New Zealand and is closely followed by Craig Stappler and Erik Lobeck. Last year’s winner, Kurt Refsnider is not on the leaderboard, but he is riding tandem with his wife Caroline Soong.
The race is at its very early stages, of course, so this leaderboard will more than likely change. The record for the Tour Divide, which was set on an individual time trial by Jay Petervary, an Idaho native, is 17 days, 9 hours, and 1 minute.
Unlike many other bike races, the Tour Divide clock never stops ticking–even when riders are asleep. This means that the riders who are able to ride hard with minimum rest are the most likely to win.
Thanks to SPOT tracking with GPS you can follow individual racers on Trackleaders.com.
To learn more about the Tour Divide and its origins, you can check out the website here. The site features route maps as well as a documentary on the origins of the Ride the Divide route.
An interview with Eszter Horanyi, one of the favorites to win the women’s competition, if not the whole thing, (currently in 5th place) can be found in Outside Magazine.
Photo via Great Divide Route Photos on TourDivide.com