The Triple Crown Challenge, Part 1: The Tour Divide

The Tour Divide marks the first part of The Triple Crown Challenge: completing all three of the major US bikepacking events in one year, The Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race and Arizona Trail Race. This year, ultra-distance cyclist Ulrich Bartholmoes is going for the overall Fastest Known Time for the challenge. Find out more about The Triple Crown and the upcoming Tour Divide below…

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Ulrich Bartholmoes at the end of the Tour Divide 2023

 

What is The Triple Crown Challenge?

 

The Triple Crown Challenge involves completing all three major US bikepacking events – The Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race and Arizona Trail Race – in the same calendar year. Only 19 people have ever successfully done this, totalling over 6,000km of mountain biking with 100,000m of elevation gain. In addition to this, some people also compete for the overall Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the challenge, which currently stands at 27 days, 18 hours and 33 minutes (a record currently held by Jay Petervary).

Ulrich Bartholmoes wants to complete all three races with a combined time less than the current FKT.

 

Route Information

The Tour Divide

Start date: 14th June 2024, Banff CA
Finish: Antelope Wells, New Mexico USA
Distance: 4,400km

Colorado Trail Race

Start date: 11th August 2024, Waterton Canyon CO
Finish: Durango, CO
Distance: 869km

Arizona Trail Race

Start date: 7th October 2024, Mexican Border monument 103 AZ
Finish: Arizona/Utah border
Distance: 1,287km

 

Tour Divide 2024

 

This year’s Tour Divide clocks out at around 4,400km with 60,000m of elevation. The highest point is Indiana Pass in Colorado at 3,630 meters. The route also features stunning scenery like Flathead Valley in Alberta, Grand Teton National Park and the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming. The 2024 route will bear some slight differences to that raced in 2023, with some new sections of the lager Continental Divide Trail added this year. The Grand Depart, as always, will roll out from Banff on June 14th, taking riders south all the way to Mexican boarder in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

 

 

Notable Riders

 

Meaghan Hackinen joins Ulrich Bartholmoes for the Apidura rider line-up, as well as Liam Yates. This will be Ulrich’s second time racing The Tour Divide, hoping to defend his win from last year. Justinas Leveika, who came second in 2023, will also be at the start line again this year. Two ex-pro riders, Laurens ten Dam and Thomas Dekker, will be trying their hand at long-distance, unsupported racing, while current Arizona FKT holder Alex Schultz is also lining up at the start – also hoping to beat the overall Triple Crown Challenge FKT.

Ulrich Bartholmoes

Meaghan Hackinen

I've spent the last six months rigorously training, studying the route and optimizing my bike setup with over 50 improvements from last year's experiences... My goals: reach Antelope Wells safely, ride swiftly and enjoyably, deliver a remarkable performance and inspire everyone following my journey.

-Ulrich Bartholmoes

Follow the 2024 Tour Divide on Trackleaders and Dotwatcher.