About 60 cyclists from all over the world left from Banff, Alberta, June 8 for the start of the 2012 Tour Divide Race.
Adventure Cycling has this to say about it:
This grueling, off-road adventure has been dubbed “the world’s toughest mountain-bike race” and for good reasons — the epic Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) traverses over 2700 miles, climbing a total of over 200,000 cumulative feet as it crisscrosses the Continental Divide from Banff to the US/Mexico border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
The Tour Divide says this:
Time-trial season on the Great Divide Route begins annually with Grand Départs, occurring approximately 2nd weekend in June from both termini of the Route. The goal of these Solstice common starts is for athletes to challenge the Route in situ, under similar weather conditions and maximum daylight. If one cannot make a grand départ, there is a season-long ITT-Divide format to contend. Tour Divide requires no entry fee or formal registration. There is no prizing for finishing. A toll-free phone number with voice mail is provided to all riders for field reporting. Voice messages are podcast on the Race Updates blog. Riders who carry SPOT GPS Messengers are tracked via the Live tracker.
I met these riders when I was completing the last half of my first TransAm while I was in Colorado, they were a decidely tough group, even for long distance riders. Remember touring etiquette, buy them a beer or a meal if you meet them. The reward is often a story of the last few days, and believe me when I say, that is all you want to hear.