Today's first TopoFusion replay focuses on the four leaders. Watch Matt Lee ride nonstop to the finish, through the night, and also turn around to retrieve his lost glasses sometime around midnight. Kurt also finishes and the tandem Petervary duo closes in. Chris Plesko is not far behind, but rests in Silver City for the last push to the Mexican Border.
On Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 9:45am, Matthew Lee became the first `09 Tour Divide racer to reach at the Antelope Wells border crossing. This makes back-to-back TD victories for Matthew, 4 Divide racing wins overall and his 6th finish.
His elapsed time of 17 days, 23 hours & 45 min. fell just short of his `07 Full route record (17d:21h:10m). Given this year's consistently bad weather, poor route conditions and additional 34 miles through the Flathead, it is an impressive finish. Matt described his final day as a "total slog," complete with unexpected storms and sloppy mud. He even lost an hour after going back for lost eyewear in the desert north of Separ.
Despite Matthew falling short of the overall record, four racers remain on record pace in the face of the continued inclement conditions. Chris Plesko is poised to break the singlespeed record and Jill Homer is still on pace to take the female record sometime in the next week. We also look forward to Jay & Tracey Petervary establishing a tandem record tonight. Deanna Adams, who seems to be steadily making her way down the Rockies, can also establish a benchmark for fixed-gear bikes is she finishes.
As the leaders get close to the border, the weather is not letting up. After pushing through peanut butter mud near Mimbres, Matthew made it to left Silver City this afternoon. It looks like he may take a brief night there before making the last pull through the desert and down the lonely highway in the morning. Kurt Reffsnider is a mere 13 hours behind and as of Pie Town, the love shack was in 3rd only 4 hours behind Kurt. Chris Plesko (who actually scored pie in pie town!) continues to chase Jay and Tracey (only a couple hours back) on his singlespeed – which seems to be doing him very well in this weather.
With 2nd through 4th places expected to get to Antelope Wells within a day of Matthew, the next follow group, that seems to have gathered about 8 guys, is just about 2 days behind having just gone through Abiquiu this evening. That group includes Steve Wilkinson, Blaine Nester, Erik Lobeck, Joe Meiser, Canon Shockley, John Fettis, Leightwon White and Alan Goldsmith.
Coming into El Rito (having just made it through the infamous dog alley of Vallecitos) is Eric Bruntjen with Dario Valsesia about a day behind him and Jill Homer another day back. Read more »
With less than two days until our first racer reaches the Mexican border, we have watched the action for 2nd place heat up. After falling off of Kurt's pace at the Colorado/New Mexico border, Jay and Tracey had been making up incredible time through the 170 miles of flat pavement after Cuba (mile 2234). As of this morning, Kurt Refsnider and Jay and Tracey Petervary are riding within an hour of each other into Pie Town (mile 2441). Chris Plesko, who had been staying in second-place contention through southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in spite of his singlespeed bike, was unable to keep the pace of geared riders on the long segment of highway. Presently, he has roughly 8 miles of pavement and 32 miles of flat dirt road between him and second place.
The weather continued to play a role in the race through the weekend as storms battered the leaders Friday and Saturday. Storms have made the Brazos Ridge nearly impassible and Kurt Refsnider reported that storms were causing flooding north of Grants. Sunday's weather was better for the race leaders and today's forecast into Silver City looks great with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. That said, all the rain that has fallen over the past weeks have still left muddy and dangerous conditions on the route as there is a flash food watch in effect for the Silver City area until this evening. Read more »
Apologies for the lack of videos lately -- I spent four days bikepacking singletrack here in Northern AZ. It was hard to not think of all the TD racers while out there, eating from gas stations, camping trailside and generally focusing on human powered motion.
Here are the last few days for the top 10. Kurt and Chris split and Matt continues pushing his lead into New Mexico. From the videos it seems that most racers are keeping the same schedule as far as sleep goes. We may see this change as the Mexican border comes into view. With that and the heat I will be surprised if we don't see some nighttime pushes. We'll see.
And, all racers, from the beginning, super fast! Watch as the racers spread out and also thin out. If you look close you'll see red dots disappearing... Read more »
The racers are spread from Matthew coming into New Mexico all the way up to Bruce Giroux coming into Idaho.
Matthew called from Del Norte at 10am after stopping at 10pm last night on the way to Carnero Pass. The road up Carnero is a little spooky at night as there are cattle all over and they snort at you and all you see are their eyes in your dim LED headlights – but there’s good primitive camping there amongst tall trees.
Sounds like Matthew had a bit of rain on Carnero and Cochetopa Passes. Then, this afternoon he busted up and over Indiana Pass, the highest pass of the route, which is a grueling 25 mile climb that takes about 4 hours getting pretty steep in places at the same time as washboard and tiny gravel.
He’s now in Platoro, where hit looks like he'll bed down for the night. Read more »
Since our last write-up, we’ve had reports that Brunello Godio stopped in Rawlins with some sort of heart issue. We’ve had no official call-in to confirm this, but his SPOT unit did stop tracking over a day ago. We wish him well, and a speedy recovery. Also, Martin Rendl has become a possible disqualification due to taking pavement in Wyoming with a damaged rear wheel and fork. At least he gets to ride through Yellowstone, which is a reasonable trade-off! Rick Ashton also had to take an alternate route into Lima to get food and called in to disqualify himself. This takes us down to 25 racers still in the mix from the original 42, with Bruce Giroux and Martin still riding, despite their DQ’s.
According to lots of the call-ins, yesterday was a day without rain which seemed to pick spirits and distances up.
Matthew stopped before Hartsel at about 10pm. He camped somewhere out in the flats and started again this morning around 4am. He then spent a half hour in town this morning getting breakfast at either the taco/burrito stand or at one of my favorite dining facilities en route – the Hateful Old Bitch Café and Saloon. There’s a 7 foot tall stuffed monkey that will join you for breakfast and the owner is quite a gal! Read more »
Racers have now spread out over 4 states, and the field has slimmed out even more in since our last update. We've lost Jacob Johnsrud, who called in from Butte to drop and Ray Porter, who rode to Lima fighting the weather and mud and a cold night on Sheep's Creek Divide. After pulling into Lima, Ray decided to box up his bike and go home - only to slice his hand open and cut an artery and get rushed to Dillon and then Butte for hand surgery. We wish him luck with all of that. The race is now down to 28 racers this afternoon. We also lost ITT racer Dave Nice who pulled out Monday night near Steamboat Springs. He had made it 1,133 miles - furthest ever, on a fixie. He posted up on his blog about his drop and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Yesterday the racers perservered storms and cold throughout Montana reporting hail and rain from Fleecer Ridge all the way through the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming.
Monday night Jill Homer made it to Pinedale and is currently ahead of the record female pace as she heads into the basin. The next woman, Cricket Butler, is about 2 days behind her.
Campsite in the Great Divide Basin
Matthew made it to Lynx Pass Monday night, a nice little climb which put him 40 miles or so out of Steamboat. Kurt and Chris stopped a couple of hours earlier on the pass before Steamboat after restocking at the Brush Mountain Lodge, where Kristin is always hospitable to Divide Racers. This put them about 70 miles behind Matthew at the beginning of today. Not too far behind Kurt and Chris was the "Love Shack" tandem with Jay and Tracy staying at the Lodge. Read more »
The weather has continued to torment racers and make for ride-ending conditions. Since our last update, we have had seven racers drop-out, one announce his intention to cease racing and continue touring, and one disqualify himself. The scratch list so far includes: Read more »
A couple more TopoFusion race replays for you. The first is the leaders, starting at day 5 and going to within the last hour.
The second is kind of fun -- a super fast replay of the entire race, all racers. I liked seeing the day / night cycles of all the racers. Although some look like they are moving at night, they just didn't get a point until sometime in the morning, so instead they look like they are moving really slow.