Tour Divide Controversy: Salsa Drops Racer Jay Petervary

Salsa cited a ‘conflict’ at this year’s Tour Divide and conduct that did not align with ‘brand values of empathy, community, and positivity.’

In a sudden twist to a story that has stirred controversy within one of America’s most prestigious adventure bike races, Salsa Cycles today announced it had terminated its contract with sponsored rider Jay Petervary.

The Minneapolis-based maker of touring and adventure bicycles and gear said in a statement that it was “disappointed by the behavior” of Petervary following a “public debate of rules” that strike to the heart of the Tour Divide and unsupported adventure racing as a whole.

Salsa Drops Jay Petervary

Salsa’s remarks reference a dispute that swept up much of the Tour Divide community. At its center were Petervary and Lael Wilcox. Specifically, Petervary reportedly took issue with a film crew that planned to document Wilcox’s ride — a ride many believed may produce the first female overall winner in Tour history.

Those reports stemmed from a post on The Radivist, authored by a member of the film crew and Wilcox’s girlfriend, Rugile Kaladyte. According to the report, Petervary and others believed a crew tailing Wilcox violated unsupported ethics, which state that no rider can receive any outside assistance — a position many agree underpins the integrity of the Tour Divide.

Although Wilcox eventually dropped from the race, the issue polarized many and resulted in third-party and conflicting accounts of what was said. Still, Salsa made the decision based on its knowledge of the situation, citing Petervary’s conduct. But the brand also noted the move was “not based on the Tour Divide rules, nor the interpretation of those rules.”

Petervary told GearJunkie he cannot comment on the matter at this time.

We will follow up with this story as more information becomes available.

Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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