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12th June 2019 / Comments (0)

Tour Divide 2019: Ready for the off!

On Friday 14th June, around 3pm UK time, the 2019 edition of The Tour Divide kicks off from Banff in Canada. Following the Rocky Mountains for over 2,700 miles it eventually finishes in a dusty corner of New Mexico called Antelope Wells. Along the way riders will pass through everything from dense forests to barren deserts.

The good news is that once again you will be able to use Trackleaders to follow the progress of the racers as they make their way south. If you are anything like us, you will find dot-watching highly addictive! The Trackleaders race map and leaderboard can be found here.

Tour Divide is addictive for riders and ‘dot watchers’ alike. After completing the epic journey in 2012, the late Mike Hall summed it up fittingly; “Experience counts for a lot on the Tour Divide. You learn a lot the first time and it seems a waste not to go back and use that experience. It’s the type of route that gets under your skin and into your blood.”

Who to watch?

Josh Kato

A rider who definitively has the Divide in his blood. Josh is a veteran of multiple Tour Divides and was the previous record holder before Mike Hall smashed that time in 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. Josh and his Salsa Fargo make for a fearsome combo and experience will certainly give Kato the advantage.

 

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Josh Ibbett

His first time on the Tour Divide, but absolutely no stranger to long distance cycling. 2015 Transcontinental Race winner Josh rocketed from Flanders to Istanbul on two wheels in under 10 days. When asked about his strategy for TD, Josh nonchalantly proclaimed “I’ll just see how it goes”.

 

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Josh and his Mason InSearchOf have been putting in the miles together around the South Downs in preparation for their Big Trip. Read our recent interview with Josh here.

Alex Watts (Tea Boy)

Long time friend of the ADVNTR crew, Alex has been putting in an epic number of hours in the saddle in preparation. By way of a ‘warmup’, Alex followed the 1,020 mile TransGermany route a few weeks ago and remarked that it was “a bit hilly” in places.

 

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Alex will be riding his beloved steel Salsa El Mariachi hardtail mountain bike, set up with rigid carbon forks and some TT style tri-bars to give him plenty of hand positions during those long road slogs between the mountains.

Lael Wilcox

As both and winner and holder of the women’s record, there’s no doubt Lael is serious with her aim to be the first female to win the Tour Divide overall. Fresh(!) from winning the women’s category at Dirty Kanza XL, Lael will be using the same Specialized Epic hardtail used at Kanza. Lael has modified her mountain bike with drop bars to create the Daddy of all Monster Cross bikes!

 

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Dave Barter

Renowned cycling author and creator of the sweariest ever Highland Trail attempt. Dave will line up in Banff on a  Salsa Cutthroat custom built for him by the experts of long distance expedition bikes, Keep Pedalling, of Manchester.

Visit Dave’s Tour Divide page here.

Route Highlights

Indiana Pass

The literal high point of the route. Leaving the Colorado town of Del Norte you’ll climb over 4,000ft in 20 miles to reach the summit at nearly 12,000 ft!

The Great Basin

Wyoming’s Great Basin is the route’s anomaly. Rather than draining into the Pacific or Atlantic, water here is swallowed up in the bone dry terrain. Leaving Atlantic City (pop. 70!) you’ve a hundred miles and searing heat to cover before you next reach civilisation!

Great Basin, Wyoming

Wyoming’s Great Basin

Brush Mountain Lodge

Kristen, the Lodge Owner, is an avid Tour Divide fan and greets all the racers like long lost friends. After a long day in the saddle sitting on the veranda and watching the humming birds against a Colorado sunset is bliss!

Miles and miles of deserted gravel

With nearly 90% of the Tour Divide route on unpaved tracks you’ll have as much gravel as you can handle, and more!

Tour Divide Gravel

So. Much. Gravel.

Take a look at our Tour Divide Route Page and see a typical kit list of what a ‘Divide rider might pack.

Last modified: 12th June 2019

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