There was a bunch of controversy around this year’s Tour Divide, with the lead up to it marked by the kind of kerfuffle that the internet breeds best (or worst). In short, Lael Wilcox planned to make a film about her Tour Divide attempt, and disagreement ensued over whether this was in keeping with the spirit – or rules – of the Tour Divide.
It’s not the first time there’s been debate over what constitutes support on a long distance event – indeed our own mile muncher Jason Miles has
railed against the self-appointed, solo bike ride Council of Elders written about the topic.
Whether you think that Lael should have been able to have a film crew on the route in order to make a film of the Tour Divide, whether the organisers should have allowed the film crew there, or you really don’t care either way, the documentary is now out.
The launch blurb says:
Lael Wilcox loves the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
She loves the climbing. It’s pass after pass. She loves the roads. They’re not too technical. She loves the landscapes. Traveling from Canada to Mexico, all on your bike. The Tour Divide, it’s her kind of race and she’s done it twice before.
The 2019 edition was set to be truly unique as she attempted to be the first woman to be the overall winner the race. But would the weather cooperate? Would the race and route play out as it had in her previous attempts?
Follow along as Lael takes on the most notable bikepacking route in the world and has to overcome natural and human barriers to embrace the true reasons for why she rides and inspires others to ride. Go Lael.
Does this make you want to race the Tour Divide? Or just ride the Great Divide route, at a more leisurely pace? One where you can pause to savour the pies in Pie Town, stop to sink beers with locals in small, dusty towns – maybe just camp an extra night because the stars are so beautiful?
For another perspective on long distance racing, check out Greg May’s take:
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I remember the debate at the time, and the film makes some (justifiable IMO) points abouts double standards. I think Lael comes across as a honest story-teller and the fim is even more watchable for all that goes along with it. I’ve no interest in doing like what these folk do, but their determination and athleticism is inspiring . Worth 40 mins of anyone’s time,
Well worth watching, Kudos to Lael and “f*ck you” to the armchair **** on Facebook.