Is there an off-road race equivalent to the Tour De France?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Is there an off-road race equivalent to the Tour De France?

    I loved watching the TDF. The mountain stages were awesome. BUT, I'm not a roadie. Is there a mountain bike version of the TDF for us off-road freaks?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajoc_prez
    I loved watching the TDF. The mountain stages were awesome. BUT, I'm not a roadie. Is there a mountain bike version of the TDF for us off-road freaks?
    The only two events I can think of are the Trans-Alps race (sick), pretty big event, not much coverage; and the crazy race that the 6-8 folks did from canada to mexico a few weeks ago, coverage here at MTBR only, as far as I've seen. It was the race that followed the continental divide. Unfortunately, there is so little money in MTBiking, your hard pressed to find the level of sponsorship at an event that would draw big media...... The 24 hr. race at Moab each october id the biggest MTBike event I've ever seen, but it's only..... 24 hrs!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  3. #3
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    If there is, and I have not heard of anything currently, my money is on John Stamstad

    This is a quote from his bio from the ‘singletrack ranch’ website:

    Stamstad set an unofficial world record when he conquered the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route-the longest off-road trail in the world. He completed the 2500 miles and nearly 200,000 vertical feet of climbing in 18 days and 5 hours.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    The only two events I can think of are the Trans-Alps race (sick), pretty big event, not much coverage; and the crazy race that the 6-8 folks did from canada to mexico a few weeks ago, coverage here at MTBR only, as far as I've seen. It was the race that followed the continental divide. Unfortunately, there is so little money in MTBiking, your hard pressed to find the level of sponsorship at an event that would draw big media...... The 24 hr. race at Moab each october id the biggest MTBike event I've ever seen, but it's only..... 24 hrs!
    Also the Trans-Rockies, and the Ruta de Conquistadores (sp?). Probably others, but nothing in MTBing is really comparable to the TdF in terms of stage racing attracting the sport's elite. Ultra-endurance MTBing attracts a whole different type of person to your pro MTB racer.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    If there is, and I have not heard of anything currently, my money is on John Stamstad

    This is a quote from his bio from the ‘singletrack ranch’ website:

    Stamstad set an unofficial world record when he conquered the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route-the longest off-road trail in the world. He completed the 2500 miles and nearly 200,000 vertical feet of climbing in 18 days and 5 hours.
    You are aware that he no longer holds that unofficial record, right?

  6. #6
    The Riddler
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    There is a " Le Tour de VTT"...

  7. #7
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    There was le Velo Tout Terrain (VTT)

    The French did organize the VTT, le Velo Tout Terrain back in the late 90s, early 00s. Pretty much around the same time Grundig sponsored the the UCI World MTB series and (the now defunct) Sunn team was all conquering in both XC and DH (XC-Miguel Martinez, Christoph Dupouey, Ludovic Dubau; DH-Francois Gachet, Nico Vouillox, Cedric Gracia, A-C Chausson) Guess it fell out of favor after the decline of high $ bike racing sponsorships.

    I think it was something like a whole week and traversed the Frence countryside. OLN broadcasted it one year.

  8. #8
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    This is about the right length, but is much harder.

    Four finish Great Divide Race

    Curiak wins, shatters course record





    Text and photo by John Weirath



    July 18, 2004

    For immediate release



    The inaugural Great Divide Race (GDR) ended today with four of seven starters finishing. 30 days, 4 hours, and 28 minutes after starting, competitor Matthew Lee arrived at Antelope Wells, New Mexico to claim fourth place.



    While three racers were unable to complete the race due to injury or mechanical failure, the other four fought through what can only be described as the most brutally difficult mountain bike race on the planet. Paralleling and repeatedly crossing the Continental Divide, the route climbs over 225,000 feet as it traverses Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Total GDR distance is 2,465 miles. The bulk of the route is on dirt and gravel jeep roads, with occasional stretches of pavement and singletrack.



    Compounding the almost unthinkable difficulty of the event is the self-supported manner in which it is raced. Racers carry everything they need from survival gear, food, water, tools, spare parts, clothing, maps, and anything else they deem necessary to safely traverse the American Rocky Mountains. Support crews are not allowed.



    All racers were treated to spectacular alpine and sub-alpine scenery, with temperatures ranging from a chilly 29 to a stupefying 107 degrees, not to mention typical mountain weather: rain, sleet, hail, snow, incessant lightning, punishing headwinds, miles of soft sand and unrideable mud, as well as innumerable encounters with deer, elk, moose, black bear, grizzly bear, pronghorn, bighorn, coyote, porcupine, wild horses, fox, and skunk.



    Mechanical difficulties frustrated all racers, with problems ranging from malfunctioning odometers, seized bottom brackets, non-shifting derailleurs, broken pedals, frayed cables, broken racks, shredded tires, countless flats, and even a cracked frame.



    Despite the inconceivable distances covered, with 10 miles to go Mike Curiak and Peter Basinger found themselves riding together. Incredibly, after 16 days and 2,465 miles they were never more than 5 hours apart. Curiak later recounted that, “Spending that much time chasing or attacking the same person is exhausting, mentally, because you’re constantly running through all of the potential outcomes. I was unwilling to sprint against Pete, knowing I stood little chance of overcoming his 23-year old legs. So, with 10 miles to go I started a near-maximal time-trial.” Near maximal indeed—in the last 10 miles Curiak was able to put 24 minutes of insurance between himself and Basinger, winning the race and knocking a whopping 52 hours off the course record.



    1. Mike Curiak, 16 days, 57 minutes

    2. Peter Basinger, 16 days, 1 hour, 21 minutes

    3. Jan Kopka, 20 days, 21 hours

    4. Matthew Lee, 30 days, 4 hours, 30 minutes

    DNF: Trish Stevenson, Gary Dye, Steve Fassbinder



    More details can be found at: https://www.mtbr.com/gdr/
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  9. #9
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    L’Hexagonal VTT - Only a week long I think but its in french, and people refer to it as the Tour de France of MTB.

    http://www.lhexagonal.com/

    Its a very good race I hear, a lot of fun too.
    Trev!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajoc_prez
    I loved watching the TDF. The mountain stages were awesome. BUT, I'm not a roadie. Is there a mountain bike version of the TDF for us off-road freaks?
    http://www.crocodile-trophy.com/en/

    What about the Crocodile Trophy in Australia? I know the guy that rides on the back of the lead Mavic support moto in the Tour de France. He's been with Mavic long enough that he gets to pick and choose the races he works. One of his favorites is the Crocodile Trophy. He says it's the closest thing to an off road Tour de France as he's seen. Looks like fun.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    http://www.crocodile-trophy.com/en/

    What about the Crocodile Trophy in Australia? I know the guy that rides on the back of the lead Mavic support moto in the Tour de France. He's been with Mavic long enough that he gets to pick and choose the races he works. One of his favorites is the Crocodile Trophy. He says it's the closest thing to an off road Tour de France as he's seen. Looks like fun.
    fun?

    awesome race though

  12. #12
    Trail rider and racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp00kme
    fun?

    awesome race though
    I'd like to do it - But I think the better word than fun would be Lethal.
    Trev!

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