The red caboose
An excellent idea from the race discussion forum: re-name the lanterne rouge (too Tour de France) as the red caboose (much more Wild West). It works for me. It’s certainly a healthy battle that’s developing for this coveted prize between Justin Simoni and James Hodges, and possibly Nicholas Kennedy, whose Spot hasn’t updated for a while. Will the fire re-routes have any impact? Will Justin adhere to the original route anyway?
In the engine of the women’s race, Caroline Soong has now finished and gets the Maize jersey, which will presumably sit nicely alongside that won by partner Kurt. Tori Fahey looks on course for second, with Jackie Bonn not far behind in third after roughing it through Brazos Ridge. The two Sheilas and Marian are now also on the final leg having made it to Cuba.
To continue the forum-inspired race-train analogy, the coal wagons of Markus Meier, John Richardson, Lukas Aufschlager, Dylan Taylor, Lance Griffin, David Goldberg, Derek Bentley and Danny Hill have all now made it to the finish (should that be the station, or terminus?). That’s a total of 22 southbound grand depart finishers, plus ITTer Dave Bruno, in less than 23 days.
Northbound, Denis Chazelle really motored over the weekend to finish second in Banff. Craig Dolwin is still a short way out of town, maybe only 30 miles or less, and will hopefully be able to nail the last bit later today. The leaderboard has Ross Delaplane still moving in the early morning, so he should be in Banff today as well, while Roland Sturm has ventured off into the Flathead. He also sent a message from the flanks of Galton Pass remarking at how steep it was and asking for comparisons with the southbound route – how did he do that? And then the northbound caboose, Stephen Moore, is within about a day of the border and another two or three days of the finish.
Finally, a word about southbound ITTers Cricket and Stephen, who have made it through the Flathead and the original route between Eureka and Whitefish. I didn’t speak to Cricket before the start but she’s said to be gunning for the women’s record, hence the adherence to the original route. I did speak to Stephen and he’s also aiming to set a fast time, defined by him as around 21 days, that will stand on the overall GC – which requires the original route to be covered. They’ve made a fast start, but it looks like Richmond Peak slowed them a bit and they had to stop at Seeley Lake last night rather than push on to Ovando. Will they get past Helena tonight?