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Refsnider first to finish 2011 Tour Divide race

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
June 28, 2011, 16:14 BST,
Updated:
June 28, 2011, 17:13 BST
Edition:
MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fastest southbound and northbound riders complete race

Kurt Refsnider became the first rider to finish this year's Tour Divide on Sunday, June 26. Refsnider completed the approximately 2,745-mile, self-supported race along the North American Continental Divide. He started in Banff, Canada, on June 10 and finished in Antelope Wells, New Mexico at the US-Mexico border.

According to the data from his GPS-tracking device, veteran Refsnider, who is from Boulder, Colorado, finished his southbound trek at 5:01:55 am after riding through the night in one final push.

Jefe Branham also finished at the southern terminus on Sunday at 9:25:57, just a few hours after Refsnider. Branham, from Gunnison, Colorado, was competing in the Tour Divide for the first time and was the first singlespeed finisher.

Ethan Passant of Crested Butte, Colorado, was the third man to reach the end of the southbound contest at 8:20:12 on Monday, June 27. Dave Bruno of Doettingen, Connecticut, wrapped up shortly thereafter at 8:39:51.

In 2011, a contingent of Tour Divide riders took the northbound racing approach, starting in Antelope Wells and going to Banff. Only one northbound racer has already finished: Paul Attalla of Fernie, British Colombia. He also finished on Sunday at 10:58:04, not long after the first two southbound finishers.

Behind Attalla, Craig Dolwin of Swindon, United Kingdom, and Denis Chazelle of Champagne, France, are the next two men on course, in Montana.

No women have finished yet, but Caroline Soong of Boulder, Colorado, is leading. She is currently in northern New Mexico.

Plenty of other racers are still out on course, and their progress can be followed at http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide.

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