The 2010 Tour Divide is still in full swing, but it appears that we have our first rider to cross the finish line today, with former champ Matthew Lee claiming victory once again. The details are still a bit sketchy at this point, and the Tour’s blog is still being updated, but it seems that Lee reached Antelope Wells, NM sometime this morning.
The Tour Divide is the longest mountain bike race in the world, beginning in Banff, Alberta, Canada and running the length of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a distance of about 2745 miles. This year’s race began back on June 11, and now 19 days later, the first rider is home. While we still don’t have Matthew’s official time, you can quickly figure out that he had to average roughly 145 miles per day to complete the race this quickly. That’s riding on trail that varies from single track to jeep roads, and stretches through some extremely wild areas and up and down mountain passes. Riders gain nearly 200,000 feet of altitude throughout the length of the course.
Apparently the victory wasn’t assured for Lee even as recently as yesterday when he was sitting in a McDonald’s in Silver City, enjoying a tasty burger while keeping an eye on his bike. Much to his surprise, someone walked up to his ride, looked him directly in the eye, then promptly hopped on and took it for a spin. A chase ensued, and the offender was eventually caught, and the bike returned to Lee, who was able to continue on his merry way. Turns out, not even a thief can keep him from winning the TD!
Congrats to Matthew on another fantastic ride! And what does he get for his big win? Absolutely nothing! Riders in the Tour Divide do it just for the fun of it, which seems to make it even better.
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