Tour Divide 2017

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The 10th edition of the Tour Divide race is coming to a close for those at the head of the pack. Brian Lucido, a Tour Divide rookie, is currently leading the men’s race and is on track to finish sometime tomorrow (Saturday). He has a solid lead of about five hours on Josh Kato, winner and record-setter of 2015.
Lucido may be a first-time Tour Divide racer, but he has a lot of experience with touring the world by bike. This has perhaps informed his race strategy of going to bed earlier and sleeping more than most of his competitors. It seems to be working for him.
Rickie Cotter, from Wales, is on track to win the women’s division. Cotter, racing for the Adventure Syndicate, set out with teammate Lee Craigie with the goal of simply checking out the route, but she’s doing quite well, with a lead (as of this writing) of 263 miles (423k).
Of course there are many competitors still out on the course, and many more stories yet to come from this year’s Tour Divide. Some have observed that the route is too beautiful to ride fast — taking one’s time and enjoying every moment is certainly a legitimate ‘race’ strategy.
It looks like Mike Hall’s record, set in 2016, will stand another year. In a race as long and unpredictable as the Tour Divide, and with a relatively short history, records are not so well-established; this year’s race in particular has been slowed by bad weather, lingering snowpack, and a forest fire. But it’s nice to see that Hall’s name will most likely remain at the top of the record list for a while at least, so soon after his untimely death in March.
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Photo by Greg May; read about his Tour Divide experience here.

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