The event is billed as the “Race Across The Sky”, and is considered one of the most challenging mountain bike races in the world. Competitors will start at 10,200 feet and will climb more than 14,000 feet over the 100 mile length of the course. This year’s field is roughly one thousand riders, and has some of the top long distance mountain bikers around. Last year’s race was an epic showdown between five time winner Dave Wiens and de-posed Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, which saw Wiens win the race by two minutes over second place Landis.
For fans of the Leadville, this news probably comes with a bit of skepticism. Lance was suppose to ride in last year’s Leadville 100, but pulled out citing other commitments. Now obviously Lance is a busy guy, and I’m sure he had important things to do, but this left some in the mountain biking community questioning his technical riding abilities. There were some indications that he might, at the last minute, show up to ride with Landis, but it didn’t happen, so I’m sure there will be a few who will wait until he’s actually at the starting line before they’ll actually believe that he’ll be there.
The Seven time Tour winner hasn’t raced competitively in a few years, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of form he is in. Obviously this is a very different race than what we’re use to seeing Lance ride in, but Landis’ success last year should put the field on notice that these guys can compete in a mountain bike event. Lance is a talented rider on any bike, and I have no doubt he’ll be riding to win. Last year, I recall reading a few comments online from people saying that he would be in for a rude awakening, as this wasn’t the Tour, and that it was very technical, at times, but if Lance is in competitive shape, I think he may shut a few of those doubters up.
Either way, it should be a very interesting race, and Lance’s inclusion in it will draw a lot of attention to the event. The Leadville 100 is scheduled for August 9th.
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