Lael Wilcox completes Tour Divide ITT in 15:10:59

Nicholas Carman1 4921

Lael takes her helmet off at the finish.  She arrived in Antelope Wells at 4:59 PM MT, for a time of 15:10:59.  Below, pushing to Antelope Wells.

Lael Wilcox raced the Tour Divide in June.  Arriving home in May from an extended period of bicycle travel, she prepared a bike for the race and rode from her home in Alaska to the start in Banff, over 2100 miles away.  She finished the Tour Divide in 17:01:51, setting a new women’s record despite battling bronchitis for the first week, with lingering symptoms to the finish.  The previous women’s record of 19:03:35 was set by Eszter Horanyi in 2012.

Returning home to Alaska in July, Lael decided that she had the time, energy, and equipment for another fast ride down the Divide, in the same summer.  Again, she prepared her bike and body and left Anchorage for Banff, taking a ferry from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA to shorten the distance to the start, this time only about 850 miles of riding.

Following a few days of rest and preparation in Banff, Lael departed on an individual time trial (ITT) of the 2015 Tour Divide route on the morning of August 8, at 6AM.  She finished in Antelope Wells, NM on August 23 at 4:59PM for a total time of 15:10:59.  This establishes a new female course record and the fifth fastest time down the Great Divide Route (Mike Hall’s asterisked 2013 ride notwithstanding). To provide some context, this is five hours faster than Jay Petervary’s 2012 record time of 15:16:04, which stood for three years until the latest record-breaking rides earlier this summer by Josh Kato (14:11:37), Jay Petervary (14:12:03), Neil Beltchenko (14:12:23), Dylan Taylor (15:03:01), and Alex Harris (15:12:09). The six fastest times on the Divide were all recorded this summer.

Naturally, for a race which takes two weeks and covers over 2700 miles of mountainous terrain, comparing rides which happened at different times is not easy, or fair.  But records are kept, and the spirit of an ITT is to achieve a personal goal on the route, and if desired, to record a time which relates to other riders or an overall record. 

Lael reports the biggest challenges of the most recent ride were wheel-clogging mud north of Lima, MT, regular rain showers and thunderstorms all along the route, longer nights, and staying motivated while out on the course alone.

For both rides this summer Lael rode a Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon World Cup with carbon Chisel fork, with Revelate Designs luggage, SRAM XX1/XO1 gearing with 36T chainring, and an SP PD-8X dynamo hub with Supernova lighting.

The details of her ride are recorded on the 2015 Tour Divide Trackleaders page, or link to her personal ride history on the LW ITT page

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23 thoughts on “Lael Wilcox completes Tour Divide ITT in 15:10:59

  1. Well dang…who knew? She is kind of in a class by her ownself, wouldn’t you say? I remember your ride from Alaska to the Divide and beyond and how you made it seem like one of my epic treks to the beer store…a couple blocks from the trailer.

    I don’t know, Mr. Gypsy. You two defy description. I just hope that someday you get the world-wide fame that you deserve.

    Meanwhile, there is a slim chance that I will be at the show in Vegas if I can sober up long enough to catch a plane. I managed to register and all (journalist credentials, don’t tell on me) and my son Beauregard is in a prison somewhere around there and needing a visit so maybe…

    Tell the missus that I, for one, am damned well impressed.

    tim joe

  2. Ye-Haw! So that’s what your hair looks like. I really enjoyed sort of escorting you through the land of enchantment, at a respectable distance of course. Who knew that in New Mexico I could get rained out two nights out of three? And I saw some new vistas not previously recorded by these eyes. It was great meeting Nicholas and getting to know him a lot better. We had a long frank discussion on many topics while sitting on my tailgate under the camo tarp at the border.

    Enjoy your rest,you earned it. I’m Unleashed, in New Mexico.

  3. Wauw wauw wauw Lael!!!! Sooooo great!!! I tried to follow u on this ,Gypsy by Trade’-blog but it wasn’t easy….u where just ways too fast!!!! :-)) Fantastico Lael e adesso, un Amarettoooooo!!!

  4. Amazing – Only those that have ridden ultra distances can truly appreciate what an accomplishment this is — great job!! Will you marry me?

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