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Tour Divide Racers Mark Their SPOT from Banff to Mexico

Endurance Mountain Bike Competitors Tracked On-line by SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger Starting Today - 2,745 Miles along the Continental Divide

Milpitas, CA (June 12, 2009) – SPOT LLC., the pioneer behind the award-winning SPOT Satellite GPS MessengerTm, today announced its return partnership with the Tour Divide, the longest solo, self-supported mountain bike race in the world.  Starting today, fans of Tour Divide can track the racers in real-time from Banff, Alberta to the Mexico Border through enhanced leaderboard tracking on Google Maps™ powered by SPOT at http://tourdivide.org/leaderboard.

Tour Divide is a pure test of mental and physical determination for endurance mountain bikers attempting to complete Adventure Cycling Association's 2,745 mile Great Divide Mountain Bike route.  The 2009 race increased in length and more than doubled in registered riders challenging themselves and competing with others to complete the route along the forgotten passes of the Continental Divide.  

Over 40 racers will be equipped with the SPOT Messenger to transmit their location via satellite so others can follow the action online.  The SPOT Messenger sends the user’s GPS location and status update messages to personal contacts or an emergency response call center from virtually anywhere around the world independent of cellular coverage.

Innovative race tracking software powered by SPOT displays all of the rider’s current location on one Google Map™. Sophisticated leaderboard technology enables viewers to follow the group or view a rider’s individual route history including check point times, average speed, distance covered and rider profile.

“We are very excited about working with the Tour Divide again this year providing the athletes with the technology to help keep them safe and connected with others  through the remote, mountainous terrain,” said Darren Bassel, director of global marketing for SPOT LLC.”  “The SPOT Messenger is designed to withstand harsh, rugged conditions and more importantly, provide reliable satellite communications independent of cellular coverage. We wish all of the riders a safe and unforgettable experience.”

This year’s route includes a new 105-mile section of intensely technical trail through Flathead Valley, east of Fernie, British Columbia.  Riders pedal through Canadian Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. By route's end a through-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times). Fifty percent of the competitors each year never see the Mexico finish line due to mechanical failure, injuries and/or fatigue. In addition to this year’s enhanced leaderboard tracking powered by SPOT, fans of Tour Divide can view individual rider profiles on www.SPOTadventures.com, a new online social community for sharing outdoor experiences.

Tour Divide begins on Friday, June 12, 2009. Follow the action online at www.tourdivide.org/leaderboard.   View Tour Divide co-race director and course-record holder Matthew Lee’s ride in real-time and biography at SPOT Adventures http://tinyurl.com/tdmatt-lee