Photos by Bekka Mongeau for Revelate Designs and Rugile Kaladyte
Just a few of hours ago, 36-year-old Alaskan endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox pedaled the final few miles of New Mexican tarmac to reach the finish line of the 2023 Tour Divide. Lael rolled into Antelope Wells at 3:00 a.m. local time, taking first place in the women’s category with a finish time of 16 days and 20 hours (16d:20h:00m). It appears Lael rode through the night to finish the race and had a 125-mile lead over Katya Rakhmatulina, who will likely finish this evening in the second-place spot.
Overall, Lael had an excellent race and maintained her usual positive outlook, although she reported suffering from lung issues and dehydration mid-ride and had to visit a health clinic to receive IV fluids a few days ago. As she summed it up on Instagram: “My lungs and throat are torched. I got sick and severely dehydrated in Northern New Mexico and really thought I might have to quit. I could hardly move. I rode 54 miles to a medical clinic in Abiquiu, got an IV, felt better and started climbing the Polvadera Mesa before sleeping out under the stars. I’m really grateful I didn’t have to scratch. I’ve gotten better results without digging as deep.”
Lael was aboard a Specialized Epic hardtail equipped with drop bars, a Rockhox SID 100mm suspension fork, a SRAM AXS 1x drivetrain with a 36T chainring and 10-52T cassette, Zipp 3ZeroMoto wheels, a SON dynamo hub paired with a Sinewave Beacon headlight, and Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge tires. You can find more info about her setup in the Further Reading links below.
This was Lael’s fifth time racing the Tour Divide and she currently holds the women’s record on the route, completing it in 15 days, 10 hours, and 59 minutes during an FKT ride back in August, 2015. As usual, Lael was well prepared for this year’s race after a long warm-up ride from the Arizona/Mexico Border to the start in Banff. Lael is also attempting a Triple Crown this year, and we look forward to seeing her in the Colorado Trail Race next. Congrats Lael!
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.