I mentioned a week or so back that the 2009 Tour Divide was underway, with adventurous mountain bikers setting out from Banff, in Alberta, Canada with the intention of riding all the way to Antelope Wells in New Mexico, which happens to fall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The race is expected to take at least three weeks, with riders covering 2745 miles in the process.
The Outside Blog as been doing a great job of posting daily updates from the field, and the Tour Divide website also has updates from the riders posted on the website. Many of those updates have a similar theme to them, namely cold rain and muddy road conditions, which has made it tough going so far.
Back when I originally posted about the start of the race, I mentioned that in order to complete the ride to the Mexican border in three weeks time, the racers would need to spend approximately 16 hours per day in the saddle. The stories from the trail are that the insane amount of mud out there is slowing them down greatly and trying their patience as well, meaning that this edition of the race is probably going to take a lot longer than expected. This unless the riders can make up time later on.
There is also a report of impropriety from the field today, as Outside is reporting that two Italian riders were seen cruising down a paved highway that ran parallel to the trail at one point and were confronted by two riders from the U.K. who called shenanigans on the alleged cheaters who seemed to be enjoying a mud-free, and less strenuous ride. Considering the teams are being tracked with SPOT Messengers, I’m sure that this will be looked at, but of course it begs a question. If you’re riding in a race with new entry fee or prize money, why do you feel the need to cheat?
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