Matthew Lee wins the 2009 Tour Divide!
United States New Mexico 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.
As the leaders get close to the border, the weather is not letting up. After pushing through peanut butter mud near Mimbres, Matthew made it to left Silver City this afternoon. It looks like he may take a brief night there before making the last pull through the desert and down the lonely highway in the morning. Kurt Reffsnider is a mere 13 hours behind and as of Pie Town, the love shack was in 3rd only 4 hours behind Kurt. Chris Plesko (who actually scored pie in pie town!) continues to chase Jay and Tracey (only a couple hours back) on his singlespeed – which seems to be doing him very well in this weather.
With 2nd through 4th places expected to get to Antelope Wells within a day of Matthew, the next follow group, that seems to have gathered about 8 guys, is just about 2 days behind having just gone through Abiquiu this evening. That group includes Steve Wilkinson, Blaine Nester, Erik Lobeck, Joe Meiser, Canon Shockley, John Fettis, Leightwon White and Alan Goldsmith.