Jay Petervary Arkansaw High Country Route
Jay Petervary in 2020; photo credit: Kai Caddy.

Jay Petervary Wins 2021 Tour Divide Bike Race

If you keep tabs on the cycling and bikepacking communities, Jay Petervary is probably a household name. And he just tacked a 2021 Tour Divide win to his list of accomplishments.

This weekend, bikepacker Jay Petervary, 49, reached the U.S.-Mexico border after 14 days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes aboard his bike. His timed effort was for The Tour Divide. The epic bike race follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route for roughly 2,700 miles, connecting the U.S.-Canada border to the U.S.-Mexico border across some of the highest mountains in the U.S.

Riding a bike over 2,700 miles over and across mountains all the way down to Mexico is no easy feat. Luckily, Jay Petervary is a seasoned Tour Divide competitor. Here’s a bit on how Petervary tackled the ride:

“I really enjoyed engaging with all the people I know from my past experiences,” Petervary wrote on social media. (This marks his seventh run on the Great Divide route.)


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And while a ride like this is in many ways as mentally demanding as it is physically demanding, Petervary said he believes he has his approach dialed. “I am very disciplined to ride my ride and not worry about another’s.” He also stated, “I believe my body can do a lot more than my mind can handle.”

Listen to your body and mind, drink plenty of water, wear plenty of sunscreen, pack light, sleep when you can — all good ingredients for a successful Tour Divide.

So far, one other rider, Brendan Heinig from Colorado, has completed the Tour, finishing in second place. Check out the race tracker and full results.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.