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  1. #1
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    Tour Divide 2008

    Are you a Grand Tour rider?

    There's another option for racing ACA's Great Divide MTB Route now. With all due respect for the excitement the GDR has brought us, opportunity knocks to race the full 2711mi length of this humongous route.

    Tour Divide: Same self-support style, same bare-bones infrastructure. Only the course will be spiced-up as Canada's legal wilderness riding becomes the early test for survival in the longest MTB race on the planet.

    June 13th 2008 Banff, AB roll-out. Find yourself there.
    Last edited by tourdivide; 12-28-2007 at 03:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    wow.I think i will sit back and read all the hullabaloo which is sure to follow......so now we have 2 divide races?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhutch
    wow...so now we have 2 divide races?
    I would say, sort of. There's really more like 1 race concept that can be attempted whenever a taker sees fit...a Man vs. Divide Route premise. TD simply offers an earlier departure date and unifies the Canadian Rockies segment.

    Yes, group racing the divide creates motivation, parity, more spectacle, but so long as one goes for it observing the self-support basics Stamstad ITT'd by in `99 (and the GDR has refined), one has the right to be listed on the tally of finishers...which is up to 20-something now. It's part of the genius of the concept. A challenger needn't roll out with a field of 10+ riders to be pitting their effort against the rest. A focus on a single race date seems to have detracted from this a bit. No, racing against the history books isn't so glam but it requires that internal motivation rewarded in endurance MTB.

    The GDR will always be a border to border race. Interest in a single-stage divide race that rolls from Banff has been brewing for a while now. TD is that, and lends courage to those who see unification in the spirit of the divide race concept but are otherwise concerned with the penalty/risk of riding Canada as an "optional" prologue to the GDR.

    Though TD's emphasis is on long course times, splits will be recorded for Canada, US such that racers will have an official time to compare to past/future lower 48 performances.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-29-2007 at 12:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Really I am that slow
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    Can't wait for this 2,711 miles this year!

    Can't wait to see Canada!
    Read my BLOG!

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    http://www.borealisbikes.com/

  5. #5
    mvi
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    So now

    In boxing style we have now two championships. Next will be the race South to North (2), and of course the winter race, all along the same route.
    Just kidding, however I,m afraid it has the potential to finish off a race that could become a classic.
    Paris -Roubaix will never change to Paris -Brussels just because its farther away either.

  6. #6
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    The end of the GDR is near!

    such a shame, I was looking forward to doing the race sometime. What happens if the ACA add another section?...are we going to have three different races, maybe four?(someone may just want to do the Canadian section, or maybe a Mexican section?) all going at a similar time? just when things were getting interesting.

  7. #7
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    This isn't the end, it's merely a chance to rise to another challenge.

    I'll be in Banff this year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    such a shame, I was looking forward to doing the race sometime. What happens if the ACA add another section?...are we going to have three different races, maybe four?(someone may just want to do the Canadian section, or maybe a Mexican section?) all going at a similar time? just when things were getting interesting.
    I don't see the GDR going away. I see it growing.

  9. #9
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    I see the GDR dying

    and the Tour Divide taking over. People can already take up the bigger challenge and did, riding the Canadian section then the GDR, now they are gonna ride the Tour Divide and ignore the GDR... They will pass through Rooseville before the GDR starts.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermosa
    I don't see the GDR going away. I see it growing.
    i think hermosa's right. it seems to be growing. and with it, apppetite for extension. one event will only be good for the other...even if controversy manufactured.

    mvi alludes to multiple titles, but there's only one belt. the fastest rider down the route holds that belt regardless of start date or which group race it was done within. again, that's the beauty of the concept. the only way TD might affect GDR participation is if the rider that holds the fastest US split began that effort from banff. if that were to happen, the onus will be on conscientious challengers to follow suit, roll from the top.

    longman, the south to north idea is an interesting one too. if divide racing participation reaches critical mass, lots of folks like the bidirectional alternating year idea. i think scott morris holds the record on S-N for now.

    as for the route changing in the future, there's nowhere north of banff to go and certainly nowhere south of the mexico border to go (without getting killed by drug lords). ACA assures us the route is done. piecemeal intra-route singletrack improvements will hopefully occur in time but those changes are covered by the rule of always racing the most current ACA maps.

  11. #11
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    I agree that interest in the route will increase but...

    I think (and I'm sat at work bored to tears so I'm thinking too much) that the racers will eventually move from doing the GDR to the Tour Divide. Already we have a numer of racers not doing the GDR but doing the Tour Divide instead. I know it doesn't matter when you race the route or with which group you start, your time will still count, but it obviously has some effect or why else did over 20 riders line up at the same time last year? It's a great psychological boost to know that you are in a 'race' rather than a solo time trial.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    It's a great psychological boost to know that you are in a 'race' rather than a solo time trial.
    Maybe that helps explain the need for TD? There hasn't been a race on the Canadian section until now. Everyone who wanted to do the canadian section & the GDR had to worry about racers being fresh at the US border, having not already done 211 miles. I remember people last year remarking "imagine what would have happened had Matt Lee not done the Canadian section" with regards to the record. I always thought that was kinda lame...

    A second point, about splitting the race... it's not a secret that ACA is making a mountain bike route along the Pacific Crest Trail. I know of some people that intend on time trialing that route the first year it is established... should we ask ACA to not develop the route because it will split the field between the GDMBR and the PCT too much? ...I find the answer rather obvious...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Maybe that helps explain the need for TD? There hasn't been a race on the Canadian section until now. Everyone who wanted to do the canadian section & the GDR had to worry about racers being fresh at the US border, having not already done 211 miles. I remember people last year remarking "imagine what would have happened had Matt Lee not done the Canadian section" with regards to the record. I always thought that was kinda lame...

    A second point, about splitting the race... it's not a secret that ACA is making a mountain bike route along the Pacific Crest Trail. I know of some people that intend on time trialing that route the first year it is established... should we ask ACA to not develop the route because it will split the field between the GDMBR and the PCT too much? ...I find the answer rather obvious...
    very lame, Matt new the deal before he started, as did everybody else.

    the PCT and GDMBR are two entirely different courses, that's like saying there should be no Vuelta because there's the Tour De France!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    the PCT and GDMBR are two entirely different courses, that's like saying there should be no Vuelta because there's the Tour De France!!!
    I completely agree with you. But should there be no Canadian Section because of the GDR? I guess that is the ultimate choice. I think the extra 211 miles is important, some may disagree... we all have the freedom to choose

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    I completely agree with you. But should there be no Canadian Section because of the GDR? I guess that is the ultimate choice. I think the extra 211 miles is important, some may disagree... we all have the freedom to choose
    I've never said that there should be no Canadian section, I just think this new race will ultimately lead to the death of the GDR. I don't care whether or not the Canadian section is included in the GDR, someone else did and created a new race to get their own way.

  16. #16
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    So ... the real question is (I mean, once we all stop pretending that these events aren't races) ... which one is the legitimate race?

  17. #17
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    My vote...

    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.

  18. #18
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    Is the Cuba to Grants dirt section required in the TD?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.
    I would caution bringing this down to one person. When decisions were made in regards to the GDR (rules and such) a lot of folks blamed one person. Now there's the TD and there's a tendency to vilify one person. From what I know of both situations it was far from it. Perhaps as the faces of the two races that's to be expected. But just as one person didn't dictatorially mandate the GDR rules on person isn't pulling the TD out of his ass.

    Debate the merits of the two. Make decisions. Do what you must for yourself. Good people are involved all around. It was inevitable that the Canadian section would be raced. FWIW, there are many races that have split options, should these ever merge.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.
    longman, with all due respect, the only real way for you to vote is to line up to race. bring your game (and your ball) to roosville when the GDR starts and you can vote twice if you like. IMO no single divide race can be more legit than another...or more legit than a solo ITT. i think you might be making it more complicated than it is.

    ...and you won't ever hear me cite having ridden canada as a prologue to the GDR the past three years as a handicap. no sour grapes there. i've proudly logged solid performances in the GDR all three times i rode canada. its the best thing i ever did to enhance my divide racing experiences. i've done it willingly for myself (to see that country) and to lead by example w/rspct to a vision of racing the whole divide trail, end-to-end.

    evolution is in the spirit of endurance mtb. no one can argue that. i've endeavored to help evolve the GDR to banff but it's not necessarily what's good for the GDR and it's not my race to change. that's fine. no hard feelings. there's room for folks to race two or three abreast on the divide route and room for two events. you'll find controversy where you want to see it but its best not to create division where there isn't any. TD is pro divide racing. GDR is pro divide racing. TD is pro GDR and vice versa. no one is trying to be more legit than the other.

    pbasinger, TD's lower 48 route rules are identical to GDRs for the sake of even comparisons. cuba to grants dirt is still optional.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-29-2007 at 09:55 PM.

  21. #21
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    From the website it seems that this race is identical in course and rules to the GDR, with the addition of the canadian sector? What is the background story to this? Who is organising this?

    This split seemed inevitable, the race that ends up existing will be determined by who can get the most racers. Adding media coverage and prizemoney will destroy either race, as the policing required would be impossible. All involved know this fine line, but I have never heard a logical reason why the canadian sector shouldnt be added. The route should follow the Great Divide for as long as it can so long as there are quality maps and it is safe. Otherwise change the name of the GDR to the USAGDR.

    There should be one race, the organisers of both can decide where it starts from. For the GDR to continue to exist I think the Canadian sector will need to be added, simply because there is no reason why it shouldnt. Guys that have ridden it can attest to its beauty (and its only 200 miles).

  22. #22
    mvi
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    Yes, lets merge. MC and Matthewsen around the table?
    At least we (who sit at home) following the race, don,t need a calculator and two websites to keep up.

  23. #23
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    Following 2 websites / blogs / podcasts from over in the UK will just be too much so I have decided to host a race on this side of the pond

    Also called the GDR it will start in north Wales and follow dirt roads, cafes and truck stops down to south Wales...you knows it! GDR in this case stands for "The 'Get'im Dai' Ride" after what some of the locals might shout as the races pass

    Totally unofficial and no planned route, start date depends on when I can get time off work and a scrapie vaccination.

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  24. #24
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    Well said, Joe.


    Quote Originally Posted by jav1231
    I would caution bringing this down to one person. When decisions were made in regards to the GDR (rules and such) a lot of folks blamed one person. Now there's the TD and there's a tendency to vilify one person. From what I know of both situations it was far from it. Perhaps as the faces of the two races that's to be expected. But just as one person didn't dictatorially mandate the GDR rules on person isn't pulling the TD out of his ass.

    Debate the merits of the two. Make decisions. Do what you must for yourself. Good people are involved all around. It was inevitable that the Canadian section would be raced. FWIW, there are many races that have split options, should these ever merge.

  25. #25
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    branch dividians

    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    From the website it seems that this race is identical in course and rules to the GDR, with the addition of the canadian sector...?

    This split seemed inevitable... Adding media coverage and prize money will destroy either race, as the policing required would be impossible. All involved know this fine line, but I have never heard a logical reason why the canadian sector shouldnt be added. The route should follow the Great Divide for as long as it can so long as there are quality maps and it is safe. Otherwise change the name of the GDR to the USAGDR.

    There should be one race, the organisers of both can decide where it starts from. For the GDR to continue to exist I think the Canadian sector will need to be added, simply because there is no reason why it shouldn't. Guys that have ridden it can attest to its beauty (and its only 200 miles).
    many agree with all of the above but we really don't have say on what happens to the GDR. MC rules that roost and has made it very clear the GDR will never race canada. other than the need for a passport, we're not entirely sure why not either but we respect his decree, promise not to bother him about it anymore.

    we tried for several years to evolve the GDR course by voluntarily riding it as a prologue, suggesting that by name alone it should rightfully be included. that's "playing nicely" and for a long enough period to in good conscience say, "we're striking out on our own". TourDivide really ought be no surprise. it's how the endurance MTB climate works, especially under the Stamstad rules chartered for divide racing. we're simply exercising our right to race it some other time. its not an attempt to bully the GDR into a course change. I for one have loved the GDR like no other. I've raced, supported every rendition. I support 2008 GDR no less. Its with sadness that i go away from it but its also with a sense of relief that i "leave the nest" to endorse TourDivide.

    TD's aim is to return divide racing to more peer driven terms with no cutoffs and limited required call-ins. If folks decide Canada sucks and ought be eliminated, then that's what will happen. First we have to try it.

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