By Jean Pocha
Of the Pathfinder 

A pedaling test of endurance


Kathy Thurmond, contributed

Justinas Leveila, Lithuania, sits in first place as of June 17.

"Main Street, Ovando is on the route of the Tour Divide, a grueling 2,700 mile gravel bike race. It is the world's longest off-pavement bicycle race," said Kathy Thurmond, owner Blackfoot Angler and impromptu bicycle shop. "As of June 16, 156 riders have passed through town."

The original 198 riders in the grand departure left Banff, Alberta, on June 9. Leaders passed through Ovando on Sunday, June 11.

As of June 17, the leaders are over half-way to the finish-line in New Mexico. The overall elevation gained and lost is over 200,000 ft, similar to climbing Mt. Everest seven times from sea...

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