The 2010 Leadville 100 mountain bike race is now behind us, and by all accounts it was another great event this past weekend. In fact, I’d say that it was so good that no one really missed Lance Armstrong being there, although I’m sure plenty of us would have enjoyed seeing him go head to head with the winner who ended up being Levi Leipheimer, Lance’s teammate on Radioshack.
Levi ran such a good race he even broke Lance’s course record set just last year. The winning time for the 2010 event was 6 hours, 16 minutes, and 37 seconds – 12 minutes faster than Lance was last year. Second place went to Jeremy Horgan, who finished in 6 hours and 25 minutes, which would also have bested Lance’s time last year, and Todd Wells completed the podium, with a 6 hour and 30 minute time. Six time champ Dave Wiens finished 4th another three minutes back.
The men weren’t the only ones burning up the course. Defending women’s champ Rebecca Rusch set a new course record as well, shaving a half-hour off the previous record by coming in at 7 hours, 47 minutes and 35 seconds. Second place went to Amanda Carey with a time of 8 hours, 12 minutes, 54 seconds.
These fast times are really interesting. Even Wiens improved on his previous best times. It seems that the Leadville 100 has gone from relative obscurity to being completely on the radar for some of the top riders in the world. Just a few years back, it was barely a blip on the radar of sports fans, outside of those of us who follow these kinds of events, and now, it is attracting a very deep field of riders. The race has one man to thank for that, and that is Lance Armstrong, who elected to enter the race a couple of years back while he was in retirement 1.0, and that brought a ton of attention to the classic mountain biking competition.
Just how big has the race become? Large enough to attract a new national owner. Just before this year’s race was run, it was announced that Lifetime Fitness had bought the race, and will take over management of the event in the years ahead. I suspect that “Race Across the Sky” is just starting to hit its stride.
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