Petervarys to Benchmark Liguria MTN Divide: New Italian Mountain Bike Ultra
On June 14, 2014, American ultra-racers Jay and Tracey Petervary of Victor, Idaho, will take the start line to benchmark a new Italian mountain bike ultra race, the Liguria MTN Divide.
The first official running of the LMD will take place in June 2015. The 311-mile course features a daunting 55,800 feet of climbing and follows the route of the Alta Via MTB Stage Race through the Ligurian Alps of northwestern Italy. Unlike the stage race, the LMD will follow the self-supported ethos of current cycling ultras like the Tour Divide Race.
“We feel it is important to have Jay and Tracey here in Europe to convey the soul of ultra-endurance mountain bike racing,” said event organizer Mauro Bertolotto, “where the immediate goal is to challenge the course and one’s personal limits, rather than compete directly against another rider.
“In creating the Liguria MTN Divide race for 2015, it will be helpful to set some expectations for racers as to how long it might take to ride this challenging route. What better way than to invite Jay and Tracey Petervary, two incredibly experienced ultra racers, to set The Benchmark for the event?” Bertolotto added. “Their finish times will be used to promote the 2015 Liguria MTN Divide and will provide serious competitors with a better understanding of their effort.”
Course profile for the Liguria MTN Divide...
“I feel very privileged and honored to have the opportunity to introduce bikepacking to an already cycling-infused culture,” said Jay Petervary. “New routes get established once, and I can only imagine the feeling I will get of being on a new route, in a new-to-me country, that will stick around for years to come. I am stoked!”
Tracy Petervary agreed, stating it brings great satisfaction to help others learn and experience bikepack racing. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to promote another style of riding in a country that already has a great appreciation and love of cycling,” she said. “To be given the opportunity to experience all the wonderful things I've heard about Italy—the people, food and views—while riding my bike and sharing knowledge about bikepacking is a dream come true.”
While in Italy, the Petervarys will participate in two other cycling-related events. On June 20, they will present a free-to-the-public ultra-endurance racing clinic in Verona, and on June 21, they will ride in the Salsa Gravel Invitational, an 80-mile ride over three mountain passes, which will serve as the prelude to a new event in September this year.
We hope to set up SPOT tracking for The Benchmark and will share that information in another post, closer to the start date.
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.