Endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox '08 is at the top of her sport.

Five weeks before endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox ’08 began the Tour Divide—a 2,700-mile bicycle race crisscrossing the Continental Divide from Canada to New Mexico—she warmed up by riding nearly 4,000 miles from her Tucson, Ariz., home to the race start.

The 2023 Tour Divide, held last June, was her fifth, and she completed it in 16 days, 20 hours, 17 minutes. She won the women’s division and finished 13th overall.

Even in the world of “unsupported bikepacking,” as it’s called—where riders race great distances without helper crews or vehicles—Wilcox’s pre-race ride and win are “just mind-blowing,” says Marc Poland, World Ultra-Cycling Association president.