History of the Leadville 100 MTB Race

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is one of the oldest of a growing number of 100-mile (160 km) marathon mountain bike races. It was first run in 1994 and has become one of the best known marathon events in mountain bike racing. Entry is by lottery, with entries due by the end of January each year for the race that is run the second Saturday in August.

Between 2003 and 2008, David Wiens, a 2000 inductee to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, won the race each year. In 2007, Wiens broke the 7 hour mark for the first time at 6:58:46 while holding off Floyd Landis of Tour de France infamy by just under 2 minutes. In 2008, Wiens won again beating 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong by just under 2 minutes and setting a new course record of 6:45:45. In 2009, Armstrong returned to win Leadville and establish the new course record of 6:28:50.9; David Wiens captured second place. Armstrong’s involvement with the race has brought increased attention to the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, evidenced by the fact that race organizers offered a live webcast for purchase beginning in 2009. In 2010, Armstrong was unable to return due to injury, but his Team RadioShack teammate Levi Leipheimer, riding in his first mountain bike race, won and set a new course record of 6:16:37. In the concurrent women’s race, two-time winner Rebecca Rusch also broke the course record, which had stood since 1997. In 2011, a conflict with the Tour of Utah kept Leipheimer away, but U.S. national cross-country bike champion Todd Wells turned in the second-fastest time ever to win, 6:23:38, while Rusch wom the women’s race again and shaved over 15 minutes off her previous record, with 7:31:46.

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