Leaders Replay - Days 1-4

Racer update about:

Since previous replay videos have been a little chaotic, this video features only the top 10 racers, according to the tracking system's split chart. This video starts at the beginning of the race and runs until this morning. The sleep/ride patterns, or as Matt Lee likes to say, the circadian rhythms of the riders are quite apparent. You can see how Matt Lee has gained his lead by riding later and earlier most nights.

Apologies for the lower video quality. Vimeo is having technical difficulties today.

If you haven't noticed the split chart, it's been a little buried at the bottom of the main leaderboard map. The chart is filled out automatically as the race rolls on. Try clicking on the columns to sort riders by arrival time.



This would be a lot easier to look at if you used initials of the riders instead of their full names.

this video show that a lot of

this video show that a lot of racer have uptake some shortcut, also matthew lee!!! i think that it's not a honest way to race, in particular in comparison to other racer.
my father is one of the racer and know already this situation, also because in a point where there was snow, he found only two traces, it is possible if there were about 15 racers front him?

This has been explained

This has been explained *multiple* times. The tracks can only be generated by SPOT points, so if a SPOT unit does not send out a point for a number of hours - it looks like the racer is straight-lining the course - especially in a particularly twisty area of the route. As far as your father's situation, don't you think there might be a more reasonable explanation than 13 of the 15 racers in front of him cheating?

I know that many racers are

I know that many racers are very qualified and many of them sleep few hours a day (more trained than my father if you want)!!!
I understand this SPOT "problem" now, but how can you explain what my father saw on the snow?????

It is impossible to explain

It is impossible to explain it without knowing where your father was. There are plenty of places in MT where both the map directions are confusing and there are multiple minor roads/trails going similar directions. This is made much worse under snow cover. All I'm saying there might be a less sinister explanation than 1/3 of the field cheating to gain a marked advantage.

Short-cutting does happen, accidental or not. The whole point of declaring "short-cutting" based on a animated SPOT track meant for entertainment purposes is ridiculous, as there are far easier ways to short cut the course than flying "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" style over the terrain.

The easiest way to short cut is using a major paved route (e.g. Ovando-Lincoln) to avoid major passes. This is easy to catch with a consistent SPOT track, otherwise it has to be caught by other riders on the ground. Speculation is pointless and ultimately, tracking or no, the race comes down to the personal integrity of the racer. We have no control over that.

-A previous route/race rider.

Thank you for the

Thank you for the explanations!!
I agree with you about the importance of the racer's integrity, it will be the most important factor to complete the race.

Awesome time lapse!

This is awesome! Like some of the other viewers I wondered about the "shortcuts" because the individual spot maps showed otherwise. The spot trackers really make the race viewable. I am really enjoying watching the progress and hearing/reading their calls.


I just wanted to say thanks to all the hard work that has been put into maintaing and updating this website so that all of us TD fans can watch the progress. Thank you and I look forward to the next 2 weeks of updates!


I understand the signal only transmitting intermittently, but it certainly looked to me like many people took the same shortcuts. It's also great to see the time stamp and see that Matthew Lee rides later than everyone else and is on the trail before everyone else, but the "short cuts" must be addressed.

I've also noticed that racers at the end of the day who are off trail end up dropping way behind the next day. I imagine being lost takes a lot of of the racer and they suffer both from lost and wasted time and getting a late start the next day.

Why don't you get out a map

Why don't you get out a map and "address the short cuts"? You'll see that you're way off base.

If there's certain areas where the signal is spotty, or a group of people have their units stashed because it's pissing rain during a certain time period, how do you think the tracks will be affected?

Spot Trackers

Many of you don't understand how the SPOT units work. They sent a signal only occasionally, even while on tracking, because of the view of the sky they have at any transmission or maybe they are put up in the rain. They can be very bouncy and annoying to have out all of the time. This might make it look like the racers are taking shortcuts, but they can't levitate over extremely uneven, rocky ground. They have to stay on the roads and trails, especially if they want to make any time. Also, the track that is shown for the route doesn't follow the route precisely because of all the twists and turns; it's an approximation too. We're extremely lucky to be watching this at all. Thanks!

Short Cut Evidence

Yes people will short cut. In 2007, when I compelted the race, there was one rider who kept on appearing in front of us. He eventually dropped out. It's easy to get lost and find yourself on the wrong road, some riders will back track: Read John Billman's Outside article on his 2007 race, other may not. However, the individual Spot maps for each rider can show you plenty of detail about which route they are on. As an example Jeff Naylor's spot shows him on Hgw 83 (north of Seeley Lake). this was 8 hours ago but he is off route.
If his spot updates and shows him progressing along Hgw83 off route in the direction of the race, then he should be disqualified.

My question to the race organisers is: Will you be checking the individual rider spot maps to check that their spots did or did not record them short cutting or riding off route?

Probably worth reminding the riders to stay on route and to back track to rejoin where they went off route. I had several naviagation errors in 07. Every time I went back to where I went wrong.

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