Tour Divide Banff, AB-Antelope Wells, NM
Helena is fortunate enough to have the premier self-supported mountain bike race in the world come right through town! The Tour Divide is a solo, self-supported ultra-cycling challenge to race all 2,745 miles of Adventure Cycling Association’s epic Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. There are no compulsory rest periods or specified distances racers must travel daily. The race clock runs non-stop. He or she who can ride the fastest while making fewer, shorter stops usually wins. With an average time-to-completion of three weeks in the saddle, this grand tour is the longest, most challenging mountain bike race on the planet. It’s a contest for the ultra-fit but only if ultra-prepared for myriad contingencies of backcountry biking.
Tour Divide was born of inspiration from John Stamstad’s watershed `99 Divide ITT, and the US border to border challenge known as the Great Divide Race (ca.`04). TD observes all the historical Divide racing controls save length. It pushes the envelope further by staging opening day racing from the top of the GDMBR in Banff, AB, where MTB-legal wilderness of Banff National Park serves as an immediate test of mettle. The Canadian section adds only 10% more trail, yet rewards riders with unforgettable geology, rugged terrain, abundant wildlife, and an international flair cycling has come to expect from grand tour racing.
Whether voyager or voyeur, Tour Divide is a dramatic tribute to both human capacity to endure and Adventure Cycling’s excellence in crafting North America’s crown jewel of off-pavement touring routes.
In 2014, the Grand Depart for the Tour Divide is on 6/13. Check back with Bike Helena for details on when riders should be passing through Helena.