Wednesday, July 1

Matthew Lee wins the 2009 Tour Divide

From: Matthew Lee First Racer to Reach the Mexico Border at Antelope Wells

On Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 9:45am, Matthew Lee became the first `09 Tour Divide racer to reach at the Antelope Wells border crossing. This makes back-to-back TD victories for Matthew, 4 Divide racing wins overall and his 6th finish.

His elapsed time of 17 days, 23 hours & 45 min. fell just short of his `07 Full route record (17d:21h:10m). Given this year's consistently bad weather, poor route conditions and additional 34 miles through the Flathead, it is an impressive finish. Matt described his final day as a "total slog," complete with unexpected storms and sloppy mud. He even lost an hour after going back for lost eyewear in the desert north of Separ.

Inspite of Matthew falling short of the overall record, four racers remain on record pace in the face of the continued inclement conditions. Chris Plesko is poised to break the singlespeed record and Jill Homer is still on pace to take the female record sometime in the next week. We also look forward to Jay & Tracey Petervary establishing a tandem record tonight. Deanna Adams, who seems to steadily make here way down the Rockies, can also establish a record for fixed-gear bikes is she finishes.

Kurt Refsnider (blog is only about 10 miles from finishing second as I'm writing this post (July 1st, 1am EST). I expect he'll post at least one more final message to his call in audio updates at

Jay and Tracey Petervary are riding tandem about 10 miles behind Kurt and should finish this morning as well. tTheir audio updates are on the Tour Divide blog where there are also links to some of the best pictures of the 2009 tour divide. (A must see.)

Chris Plesko (audio updates) should come in third if all goes well not long after Jay and Tracey. He's an interesting story because he's doing the whole race on a single speed!

My brother Joe was riding with Kurt and Chris for much of the race until he broke his derailuer and deraulluer arm. This cost him 24 hours while a new derailluer was overnighted to him and then he swapped out his frame to a new one which was mailed ahead to a shop in Colorado.

He is currently racing with (I used the term "with" loosely) a group of about eight people (including Steve Wilkinson, Blaine Nester, Erik Lobeck, Canon Shockley, John Fettis, Leightwon White and Alan Goldsmith) that has dubbed themselves "the pelaton" that will be duking it out for fourth place in the next couple days. So many riders riding together this late in the Tour Divide is unusual. His audio updates can be found on MTBcast.

The interactive leaderboard give a good overview of where everyone is at currently on the route. The field was huge this year including 42 riders. Keep in mind many of the markers are from people who've dropped out for various reasons.

A big congratulations! to all who have participated and are still participating!

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