|A peek at the original GTDRI course from a recon in 2006.
Well, ten years ago, the Tour Divide did not exist, but the roots of the race were being laid by Matthew Lee. That's right, this is the fellow you have to thank for the Tour Divide as it stands today. Here following is a snippet from a post I did ten years ago which better explains what the situation was back then......
"Hey enduro freaks! One of the most epic; if not the most epic, long rides is about to set off from Banff, Canada. It's the "prologue" portion of the Great Divide Race, otherwise known as the "GDR". This event is fully self supported, back road mountain bike touring/racing/ time trialing down the Great Divide Route as laid out by Adventure Cycling and utilized as the race course. Although "officially" the event doesn't start until the junction with the U.S. - Canadian border, the intrepid Matthew Lee, a veteran of the event, utilizes the Canadian section as a "prologue" to the event proper in hopes that one day the entire Great Divide Route will be utilized as the race course."So, the original intentions Matt had were to keep the race as it was then, but to add the "prologue" portion, so as to make the Divide route complete. Dissenters to this suggestion were against Matt's vision due mostly to traditions and rules set as they were. Eventually, Matt's idea had to be set in a separate event format, and for a year or so, the GDR and TD events were run congruently, but when it became apparent that the TD was more popular, the GDR dropped out of the scene and ever since Tour Divide has been the way we've known this event. Interestingly, in 2008, there were 17 TD riders. This year there were 170 starters for the TD plus some in other categories.
Finally, I had a Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational recon ride. It went about 80-ish miles in a day where I got rained on, blown away by the wind, and was delayed by an odd man on a Huffy asking weird questions about cycling related numbness of the nether regions. Yeah.... Just what you would want to discuss with a total stranger!