Mountain biker shatters Banff to Mexico record in Tour Divide race

A British mountain biker has set a new cycling record by successfully completing the notorious 2,745-mile Tour Divide mountain bike race from Banff, Canada, to the U.S./Mexico border in just under 14 days.

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Mike Hall, an endurance mountain biker from Wales, completed the grueling trek along the Great Divide with a time 12 hours faster than the previous record. He traveled from Banff to the border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, in 13 days, 22 hours, and 51 minutes.

“Setting a new record with such an extraordinary time is an incredible achievement which has been justifiably lauded by his contemporaries," a spokeswoman from Pivot Cycles, the bike brand Hall was using in the race, told Wales Online.

“This is Mike's third Tour Divide,” she continued. “In 2013, despite winning the race, forest fires forced him to detour from the official route rendering his then potential record time as ‘unofficial.'”

Beyond the trying physical toil the journey took on Hall (he climbed over 60,000 meters in the race, with the single highest point reaching 11,909 feet), it was also mentally exhausting: He slept sparingly throughout the race and did it in isolation, without his cell phone or any outside contact.

In the final 30-plus hours and 300 miles on his bike, Hall didn’t sleep at all.

“I've not been connected [to the world], am feeling a bit strange not knowing what is going on,” Hall told Gear Junkie following his race. “It's been good to have a clear run at the course. I have given it my best effort and am satisfied this is the best time I could have done.”

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