Despite being slowed down by wet dirt roads and muddy conditions, the riders at the front of the 2023 Tour Divide are picking up speed. Leader Ulrich Bartholmoes recently passed Mike Hall’s 2016 record dot, and Lael Wilcox is ahead of her own women’s record. In our first 2023 Tour Divide Debrief, we take a look at what’s happening at the front of the race, share a couple of video updates from Josh Ibbett, and take a look at Alex Howes’ Lab71 Tour Divide Bike…

Several riders came out of the gate fast on Friday, including favorite Ted King, who settled in up front of field and is riding incredibly fast. However, Ted spent two nights indoors, taking long recovery breaks off the bike. This set him back behind the current leaders but could be a long-game strategy.

On the flip side, leaders Ulrich Bartholmoes and Justinas Leveika have been operating on very little to no sleep and leapfrogged one another throughout day one and two. Despite the bad weather, the two put up nearly 280 miles in the first 24 hours. Leader Ulrich Bartholmoes described night one on his instagram account, “What a terrible night! From Koko Claims at km 160 it rained non-stop and it was extremely muddy. The mud-clogged gears made riding really difficult and exhausting. And with the brutal climbs and the cold of the night I suffered quite a bit. Now Justinas and I are leapfrogging each other, we rode through the night without any sleep break and got a good lead on the guys chasing us.”

Ulrich is currently in the lead and recently passed Mike Hall’s 2016 record dot on the Trackleaders map, which is pretty impressive. He’s averaging about 10.26 MPH (16.5 KPH), including stops.

In the women’s race, fan favorite Lael Wilcox currently has a strong lead over next in line Katya Rakhmatulina. Lael has been playing leap frog with her own record dot all morning. She’s averaging about 8.8 MPH (14.2 KPH) including stops.

In other news, first-place northbound rider Andrew Kulmatiski just made this dreadful announcement, which is really sad to see. We hope the situation is resolved and will share an update when we know more.

Andrew Kulmatiski

For further updates, be sure to check out Josh Ibbett’s detailed videos chronicling the first two days below:

Day 2

In his latest video update, ultra-endurance racer Josh Ibbett breaks down all the action from day two in his own style, discussing sleep strategies and his own knowledge of the course.

Day 1

…and here’s his update from day one.

Alex Howes’ Rig

In other news, Cannondale recently published a video documenting Alex Howes’ Tour Divide LAB71 Topstone, complete with a suspension fork. Alex started the race looking good but had a broken spoke and a sidewall tear that caused him to leave the course to get repairs. It appears he’s back in action now.

TrackerCheck out the 2023 Tour Divide Tracker page to follow along on the live tracking map, find our Rigs of the Tour Divide roundups, and more event coverage. Find it here.



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