The last couple years, before I decided that I was going to ride in The Great Divide Race this coming summer I would have felt more compelled to voice my opinion on the current "great divide" of The Great Divide. It's funny though, now that I'm actually riding in the race this year I really don't care so much. The only thing that bothers me is that with all the dispute going on between the GDR and The Tour Divide there now seems to be a choice that anyone who wants to "race" the GDMBR needs to make, and on some level one will be judged on that decision. This is unfortunate and hopefully those that are more passionately attached to one race or the other don't judge new people like me on which race we choose.
For me there are reasons that the GDR seems more appealing and there are reasons that the TD seems more appealing. Ultimately though I feel more drawn to the GDR, partly because it is the more established event that will likely include more riders, but mostly because it starts a week later and I am going to need all the time I can get to be ready for this with The Iditarod race going into early March, and with the Miwok 100k that I'm going to be running in early May.
Time will tell if both races can flourish. I kind of doubt it. I think that most people are drawn to events like these because there are going to be other like minded people lining up to ride the same race. If this weren't the case everyone would just go ride the Great Divide Route on their own. People want to compete with and share the experience with other people. Over the next few years one of these two events will, for various reasons, draw more riders and eventually this fact alone will cause more and more people to choose the "more popular" race and the "other race" will struggle to draw more than a few stubborn idealists. As far as which one will be which, I really don't care. You'll almost certainly only ever see me lined up at the start of whichever one I feel is going to have more riders (and especially more top riders) to test my abilities against. Whether that means starting in Banff or Montana I really could care less.