Guy Martin finishes world’s toughest mountain bike race
TT star, truck fitter and television celebrity Guy Martin has finished the 2712 mile Tour Divide mountain bike race in an impressive 18 days, six hours and 23 minutes. Averaging 150 miles a day.
As MCN previously reported in January, Martin chose to miss the 2016 Isle of Man TT races to compete in the Tour Divide event. The race follows the Continental Divide in the United States from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico climbing over 200,000 feet up and over the Rockies, the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest seven times. The Tour is unsupported and any outside help leads to disqualification.
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Riding under the alias ‘Terry Smith’ Martin chose to dodge the group start and ride the event in the Individual Time Trial class in an attempt to avoid attention from the world’s media.
Journalist Neil Beltchenko caught up with Martin as he passed through Sargents, a small out-post in central Colorado. Neil explained: “Living pretty close to the route I decided to see if I could track Guy down. Sure enough when I arrived at Sargents, Guy was standing with another rider Michael Grosso, talking about bike set up. I said “Hey Guy, how are you?” he replied “How did you know my name?” I explained that I’d figured out he was riding as Terry Smith a couple of days beforehand. He mentioned that he was enjoying the time alone and said “you’re the first people I’ve spoken to apart from Mike Hall (the eventual winner of the Tour).” This was over 1800 miles into the race.
Guy also mentioned he was using route maps from 2011, he said: “I have been lost a lot, I feel like I’ve done 100 extra miles because of it.” I asked if he’d been around any sort of camera crew and he said no, his only form of communication was an old Nokia phone.”
Had Martin entered the race in the group start he would have placed an incredible eighth. The Tour Divide winner Mike Hall completed the race in a new record time of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. Second place finisher was Chris Piesko who completed the 2712 mile race on a single speed bike.
Pics: Neil Beltchenko