The Tour Divide roughly follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is the most recognized and important off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the world. The route crisscrosses the Continental Divide from north to south starting in Banff, Alberta, Canada and finishing at the US/Mexico border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
Time-trial season on the GDMBR begins annually with Grand Départ, occurring on the second Friday in June from both termini of the Route; the main Depart takes place in Bannf, Alberta. The Tour Divide see hundreds of riders each year, with 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 are no prizes for finishing. Riders who carry SPOT GPS Messengers are tracked via the Live tracker.
For more on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, check out our guide, here. Also, find the Rigs of the 2018 Tour Divide here, and check out a few other articles and resources tagged ‘Tour Divide’.
Timing and Records
It’s a small and select group of athletes. Here are your Grand Depart winners since the inception of the race in 2008.
Men: Matthew Lee – 19:12:00
Women: Mary Collier – 29:17:37
Men: Matthew Lee – 17:23:45
Women: Jill Homer – 24:07:24
Men: Matthew Lee – 17:16:10
Women: Cricket Butler – 26:09:36
Men: Kurt Refsnider – 15:20:51
Women: Caroline Soong – 22:09:59
Men: Ollie Whalley (R) – 16:02:54
Women: Eszter Horanyi – 19:03:35
Men: Mike Hall – 14:11:55
Women: Sara Dallman – 22:19:05
Men: Jefe Branham – 16:02:39
Women: Alice Drobna (SS) – 22:06:36
Men: Josh Kato – 14:11:37
Women: Bethany Dunne – 19:02:37
Men: Mike Hall – 13:22:51
Woman: Jackie Bernardi – 19:21:41
Men: Brian Lucido – 14:22:50
Women: Marketa Peggy Marvanova – 22:18:04
Jay Petervary – 2011 – 17:09:01
Jay Petervary – 2012 – 15:16:04
Billy Rice – 2013 – Yo-Yo (NoBo & SoBo) 44:42:00
Lael Wilcox – 2015 – 15:10:59
Men: Mike Hall – 2016 – 13:22:51
Women: Lael Wilcox – 2015 – 15:10:59
(*) Year with a re-route, race records could not be made; (R) Rookie; (SS) Single Speed.
Event image by Matt & Brett, A View From Two Wheels.