The Race Across the Sky

It’s a little hard to believe how popular the Leadville bike race has become.

I called Cullen Watkins back in 1996 to see if he’d want to do some 100-mile mountain bike race in Colorado. He said, “yeah” so we sent in our entries.

We took the race for granted, just showed up, never bothered to pre-ride any of the course — how hard could it be? — and it kicked our butts. We kept coming back year after year and bringing more Michigan racers into the Leadville family.

And now after a few Leadvilles with top Tour de France pros, including Lance Armstrong, there’s now a movie in the works.

Who’d a thunk?



Lance Armstrong’s Girlfriend has a Buckle too

Anna Hansen at LeadvilleYou’ve probably already read it in the tabloids: Lance Armstrong and his girlfriend Anna Hansen are expecting a baby.  Blah, blah, blah.

What caught my attention is the photo of her biking (right) looks very familiar.  It’s from the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in Colorado.  She’s just finished the Boulevard and is about to turn onto Sixth Avenue for the finishing stretch.

And she finished just 9 minutes under 12 hour cutoff to earn a Leadville buckle.  That’s impressive, especially for an apparent first attempt.


Lance and Leadville

Lance Armstrong rides past Twin Lakes (mile 60)

Lance Armstrong rides past Twin Lakes (mile 60)

A group of us from Michigan have been racing the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race since 1996.  It’s a tough race to finish but an easy race to become addicted to,  And as my friend Stani noted that everything about this race is epic: the course, the promoters, the volunteers, the altitude, etc.

Normally this race flies under the radar for everyone except the endurance racing junkies  Last year was an exception as Tour de France racer Floyd Landis showed up.  Landis eventually came in second to Leadville-favorite Dave Wiens.

This year Lance Armstrong did the race, putting Leadville in the national news.  And similar to last year, Armstrong came up short, finishing second to Wiens.  As the race announcer said, Armstrong did win his age group.

I only got one lousy photo of the leading duo.  Some of the best coverage is at Super Human Mag and the Denver Post.

The majority of folks I spoke with seemed satisfied with that result.  Wiens is a super nice guy and now a six-time winner at Leadville.  He could have been the seven-time winner, but the race promoters didn’t let him in that first year.  The race was full and they didn’t have any pro slots for late entries.  Wiens said he appreciated not being treated differently than the rest of the racers,

Stay tuned for more Leadville blogging on the Michigan racer results and photos.


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