The Cycle Life: AZT300 Gets a New King…Umm, Queen

Outside Magazine

by The Cycle Life

On Monday, April 11, after three days, four hours, and five minutes of riding, Lynda Wallenfels won the Arizona Trail 300, a self-supported mountain bike through-race that roughly follows the Arizona Trail from Parker Lake Canyon, Arizona, near the Mexico border, to Superior, just southeast of Phoenix. In addition to scoring the overall win, Wallenfels became the first woman to ever complete the course in the race’s six-year history. Out of the 22 people who lined up, she was one of only four finishers, as record heat (daytime temperatures soared into the mid-90s), mechanicals, and crashes decimated the field.

The AZT races follow the same self-support rules as events such as the Tour Divide and the Colorado Trail Race, with riders required to find their own way on the course and carry all gear and provisions. Racers are permitted to purchase food and supplies en route but can’t accept any outside assistance. The course follows some incredibly rough and remote stretches of singletrack, racking up 40,000 vertical feet of climbing, including a 49-mile, 10,000-foot slog over the 8,200-foot shoulder of Mount Lemmon. The course record is held by Kurt Refsnider (Salsa Cycles), who blazed the trail in 2010 in two days, eight hours, and 45 minutes en route to finishing the full Arizona Trail Race in a record seven days, six hours, and 35 minutes.

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