The scene at the dam.
The Leadville 100 mountain bike race was on Saturday.
Always preceding the 100 mile run by a week, and with Christy and I registered for that race, I thought the best thing I can do in the time remaining is rest. So I headed over to Twin Lakes for the morning to watch the field come through. Being close to town there is always a strong local showing and even though a dozen or so friends do this race every year, I had never seen it before. And if somehow you haven’t heard, Lance Armstrong won the race and set a new course record.
Here are some pics:
Lance Armstrong and Matt Shriver having just past the dam, lead the pack up to the Columbine Mine. Shriver, who finished third, was one of several late entries Lance requested in order to pick up the early pace at the front end of the race. Click any photo to enlarge.
Seconds behind Armstrong and Shriver, Carbondale’s Len Zanni follows in a close third. Another late entry, Zanni finished fifth overall. While cruising around the dam I overheard a lot of chatter about how it wasn’t fair that Lance could get his “team” in the race at the last minute and how it gave him an unfair advantage. Sure, these guys finished in some top spots but you can’t offer much advantage to another rider who’s in front of you as Lance was for more than 60 miles.
Defending champion and six time winner, Dave Wiens beat Armstrong in 2008. Seen here heading up to Columbine in fifth and about two minutes behind Armstrong, the gap widened to ten minutes at the top of the climb, twelve by the time they came back down to the dam and nearly thirty when he finished in second place.
Max Taam, bike racer, Aspen Mountain Ski Patroler and part time ski mountaineer crosses the dam at the back end of the top ten. He finished 6th.
With somewhere around eight or nine finishes landing him four times on the podium (two 2nd’s, two 3rd’s), and with Dave Wiens standing alongside him each time in 1st position, Ted MacBlane knows this race and the Wiens dynasty better than anyone.
First place female, Rebecca Rusch from Ketchum, Idaho finished 30th overall with a time of 8:14.
Tarver– Get out of the way!!! If Charlie wasn’t in Lance’s way, he sure managed to block a lot of my shots. This one’s for you Tarver!
With Charlie Tarver on the cutting room floor (cropped out), Lance grabs his foodbag and begins the return to Leadville. Wiens would be next, twelve minutes behind.
Wiens in pursuit and in 2nd managed to reel in Shriver, Alex Grant and Len Zanni on the Columbine stretch but still found the gap between he and Lance to have grown. Clearly the locals’ favorite out here, his fans were everywhere. His six year winning streak was as impressive as positive attitude about the day when recounting afterwards to the press. I can’t say the same for all the fans on the sidelines declaring Armstrong wasn’t being fair.
Another Armstrong buddy, Durango’s Travis Brown grabs a food bag from Bart as he returns from Columbine. He finished seventh. In my opinion, by filling out the field with a few more ringers, the whole race was brought up a notch.
Parting Shot- Brown is off, Bart looks on, Tarver’s just barely out of the way and a woman’s bright green shirt reads “Go Dave.”
Congrats to everyone there Saturday.