Tour Divide

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  • Vitalic, good choice for a post-race boogie. @+@

  • Lael's film was a good watch

    We have probably had it posted somewhere already?

  • Ok this might be opening (re-opening?) a can of worms here, but it's very clear from 'the length of time' that Josh also had a camera crew tail/meet him at numerous points during the route. The very same thing that Lael got so much shit for, enough that it contributed towards her decision to scratch. All the while no mention was made of Josh and team coming under the same scrutiny or abiding by the same restrictions (i.e. spot trackers for all camera crew etc.) at the same time they didn't even stick their heads above the parapet and stick up for Lael by acknowledging publicly that they were doing the same thing? Is it just me or is this a little bit shitty on their part?

  • It’s not just you.

    But I completely disagree with individuals having their own camera crew.

  • I dont know if this is all in the spirit of ultra racing in its purist form. But probably the ones who've actually raced or organised multiple races should have the final say on that.

  • She mentions this in her film. I'm not sure if having someone with you and racing at the pointy end of a race would be a help. It would feel like a hindrance to me

  • I think a lot of people's views on this are taken from the fact that so many other races have lots of media coverage. IMO Tour Divide is about getting it done, all by yourself. You really shouldn't be exploiting it for sponsorship or attention, you should just ride and take your own pics/video. If that slows you down and that bothers you, don't do it. Mike Hall didn't even take a smartphone cos it's a time suck.

    In my view it's just about the most purist of the self-supported races out there, and I love it for its lack of corruption especially now that bikepacking ultras are so common/well covered. It's the total opposite of SRMBR TransContinental etc. No instagram account, not even a proper website. Just Matt Lee on email administering the entries and DQing people who cheat.

  • Not sure I really have a point other than keeping TD pure, free and uncorrupted.

    Yeah, that's a noble goal, but why pick on Lael? We don't check for doping, not even mechanical. People snack on pills to stay awake (and mention them in kit lists!), they eat painkillers (including Petervary, Lael, etc. and freely speak about it on podcasts or in films). If these things remain unchecked and people left unheckled, we have no moral right to even talk about emotional support.

    There are a few dimensions to these races if I understand it correctly (only raced once). Fitness, sleep management, discomfort management, navigation, fuel/food, mental side. If you take the first three out of the equation with some doping & pills, what's the point of having rules about emotional support? BTW, if you relieve pain with a painkiller, that's much more of a mental boost than seeing your partner. I doubt anyone can argue against that.

    So in short. If we want to keep the TD pure, free, and uncorrupted, let's start with the real issues, not pick on the one person who's making a relatively successful living out of this (which the film is critical for).

  • Yep, I've been saying this in my circles for a while. And that's how we know that Lael was picked on, regardless of whether she violated the rules or not.

  • I read Josh and his film crew didn't ask or say anything about their plans before the race. Lael did and most of the debate was had before the race, when they announced it.

    Josh's crew drove a van to meet him in some spots on the route. Lael's crew were on e-bikes riding back and forth on the race route, so they could've scouted the trail ahead and tell how it'll be.

  • so they could've scouted the trail ahead and tell how it'll be.

    Josh's crew could've done that with the van too so I see no difference between them other than the fact that Lael's crew were made to adhere to a bunch of requests like tracking whereas no one gave a shit about Josh's filming.

  • Yeah, though the difficult parts might not be drivable on a van. Anyway, Josh's crew probably wasn't asked to have trackers etc. because no-one knew they were coming? That's not really a classy way to do it in this scenario either.
    In TCR the manual says you need to tell the organizer in advance if you're planning to have a media crew, otherwise there's trouble.

  • I read Josh and his film crew didn't ask or say anything about their plans before the race. Lael did and most of the debate was had before the race, when they announced it.

    So, "logically", people are more suspicious and outraged about the crew who were upfront and transparent about their plans.

    so they could've scouted the trail ahead and tell how it'll be

    This is exactly what I mean. Everything is based on trust in these races, and we raise our suspicion when someone voluntarily makes an effort to demystify their actions. On the other hand, we assume others have the highest integrity because they didn't say anything. Wow.

  • Indeed weird that there was that debate before the race but after race started and Josh's crew appeared people weren't interested of that and the discussion seemed to be mostly over already. The accusations of scouting the trail apparently came after they'd ridden ahead from the lodge in the mud to film and posted a picture of a muddy e-bike, here and somewhere else

    https://m.facebook.com/groups/2280092941­99842?view=permalink&id=869199580080807

    Also mentioned here:
    https://theradavist.com/2019/06/tour-div­ide-race-part-4/

    That also mentions the other rider with a film crew getting clothes from them at the lodge.

    Weird mess.

    I'd have thought both crews were fine, as long as they don't interfere. If there is an actual organizer you'd need to inform them if there's someone filming but apparently TD doesn't have one in that sense. I do like the idea that the racers were there just by themselves in the woods, no organizer, film crews, communication, trail angels or safety net, but I'm fine with the way these races are developing too.

  • Regarding that whole Blue Mountain Lodge armistice thing, there'd already been riders that had seen the conditions and turned around - Kato for one and didn't Sofiane come back down.

    I'm pretty sure in Lael's film the riders have stopped, come back, waited and are already talking about how unlikely it is to be passable given that it's still raining down the mountain even after they'd waited for it to cool down and they'd been hoping for snow.

    Basically shit's changed. There's media. People are making money off this sport. Either make rules to deal with it and penalise riders that take the piss, leave it be or ban all fucking outside anything.

  • Josh Kato didnt turn round. He spent the night on the pass above BML in the snow. He tried to shelter in a cave and there was a Mountain Lion in it. He said it took him 3 times as long as previous years to get over the pass, and retired with a chest infection soon after.

    Sofiane got lost in the deep snow. Both his Garmins failed and he wandered round in a circle in the deep snow and came across his own footprints and then decided to retreat back to BML. A wise decision as the path zig zags up the hill and isnt obvious.

  • Maybe it wasn't Kato then. Maybe it was Sofiane I was thinking of. Who's wheels were in the photograph caked in mud? Point was, there were other riders who'd gone up and were talking about the conditions. It's not like Lael was getting special information from her crew that the others weren't getting.

  • Let's hope it won't be cancelled this year after all the training people will have put in.

  • Just read about Dave Nice’s story. Pretty nuts


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  • He's been an unlucky fucker over his many attempts! :)

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Tour Divide

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