Photo by Eddie Clark (@eddieclarkmedia)
Congratulations to 40-year-old Sofiane Sehili, who was the first person to cross the finish line of the 2,664-mile Tour Divide! Sofiane rolled into Antelope Wells at 11:36 p.m. on June 24th, clocking a race time of 14 days, 16 hours, and 36 minutes (14:16:36), making him the overall winner of this year’s race.
Considering the extreme weather on the course this year, a sub-15-day ride is an amazing accomplishment. The northern sections of the route saw record-level rain and snow. And early monsoonal moisture turned the New Mexican dirt roads into sticky, derailleur-eating mud further south. Even in the final 48 hours of his ride, wicked lightning storms forced Sofiane to take shelter in a national forest pit toilet, where he hunkered down and slept for several hours before pedaling the final 200-mile stretch.
Although this is Sofiane’s first Tour Divide win, it’s not the first time he’s taken part in the event. After tying for third place in 2016—his rookie year—he set a goal to win it. He came back in 2019 and had a promising lead for the first few days but scratched after whiteout blizzard conditions on Sand Pass forced him to retreat back to Brush Mountain Lodge. In the meantime, the French ultra-endurance racer racked up wins at several big events, including a first-place finish at the 1,800-kilometer Silk Road Mountain Race in 2021 and an overall win at the 2020 Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco. It was only a matter of time.
Congrats, Sofiane. Rest up!
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