by Chris Brewer
We get the word from our man (and LAF Endowment Board Member) Larry O’Reilly: Lance took a very respectful 2nd place Saturday at Leadville as 42 year old Dave Wiens continued his amazing streak, beating Lance by two minutes to take his 6th consecutive title.
The Leadville Trail 100 begins at the old mining town of Leadville with 1,000 participants setting out at 10,500 feet and climbing to a maximum elevation of 12,600 feet. En route, racers tackle 14,000 feet of climbing in total. (CyclingNews.com)
Lance’s strategy was to stay on the wheel of Wiens and see how things would play out. On the 50 mile out route the duo were in a 7-man chase group with 2 other riders off the front. By the second checkpoint all 9 riders were together, but on the 10 mile climb up Columbine to the halfway mark and the return down, Wiens and Lance had distanced themselves and held a 5 minute gap that would never be brought back.
On the last climb of the day, a 5 mile paved climb up to Turquoise Lake the 2 men on the front traded places to the summit. But it was the final 10 miles and the descent down St Kevins that would determine the day. “At the end I realized I was totally cooked … I haven’t done a 7-hour ride in four and half years,” Lance said afterwards, telling Weins he was done and to go on. Then there’s a saying in mountain biking, “It’s not a party until somebody bleeds,” and it was Lance unfortunately that got the party going, crashing on the final descent as Wiens got away for good.
Wiens would go on to hold his lead and come in first, shattering his own race record by nearly 13 minutes, with Lance soon after (also besting the previous course record). An amazing accomplishment for both athletes indeed! And now you know…