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For Immediate Release
June 23, 2006
Contact: Aaron Teasdale
800-755-2453 x237 [email protected]


Great Divide Race Starts Today on Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

World's Longest Mountain Bike Route Hosts World's Longest Mountain Bike Race

Missoula, Montana - At 12:00 p.m. today, June 23, in remote country high on the Montana/Canada border, the third annual Great Divide Race begins. Following the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route <www.adventurecycling.org/routes/greatdivide.cfm> , racers will pedal a stupendous 2,490 miles of remote, mountainous terrain along the spine of the continent to the New Mexico/Mexico border. Making the ride even more impressive is the fact that all riders are entirely self-supported - no outside assistance or SAG support of any kind is allowed.

"People who race the GDR have no interest in a pit crew, in having pacers, in having support, or anything like that," says race organizer Mike Curiak. "They want the all-encompassing race, where not only do they have to ride, they have to make their own meals, fix their bike, navigate, all that stuff. They want the ultimate challenge."

"The race really honors the Great Divide Route and what it's all about," says Cannondale rider Matthew Lee, the winner of last year's GDR and a racer again in 2006. "It's bikepacking at its best."

John Stamstad, the now-retired Michael Jordan of endurance mountain biking, set the original Great Divide Route speed record in 1999 when he blazed it in a seemingly impossible 18 days, 5 hours (most riders take two months or more). Then, in 2004, the first year the race was held, Curiak shattered Stamstad's record with a time of 16 days, 57 minutes. Whether Curiak's amazing record - averaging 150+ miles a day on three-to-four hours sleep a night - will ever be broken remains to be seen, but more than one racer in this year's field admits to having it in their sights.

Less ambitious riders looking to experience the Great Divide Route and mountain-bike travel at a more enjoyable pace have lots of options. The simplest is to pick a scenic stretch and go ride - Adventure Cycling's detailed maps <www.adventurecycling.org/routes/greatdivide.cfm> for the route make finding your way easy. Outside magazine calls the Montana section of the Great Divide Route "A glorious 800-mile medley of fire and logging roads, jeep and singletrack trails."

To learn more about the Great Divide Race go to www.greatdividerace.com <www.greatdividerace.com> . To follow the riders in this year's race, check out the official blog here: www.greatdividerace.blogspot.com (rumor has it that several riders will race this year on fixed-gear bikes, taking the challenge to mind-boggling levels of difficulty). Last year's winner Matthew Lee has his own blog - www.tourdivide.blogspot.com <www.tourdivide.blogspot.com> - that offers photographs, a description of the route, and his audio messages from the race. MTBCast will be carrying daily podcasts with commentary and phoned-in reports from the racers themselves at www.mtbcast.com <www.mtbcast.com> .

The largest cycling organization in North America, The Adventure Cycling Association is a 501(c)(3) 42,000-member, non-profit in Missoula, Montana dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle. For more information please visit www.adventurecycling.org <http://www.adventurecycling.org> . To learn more about the Great Divide Route or to request an Adventure Cycling press kit, contact Aaron Teasdale, Media Liaison, at 800-755-2453 x237 or [email protected].

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