Sunday, August 12, 2007

Leadville Reflections

The Leadville 100 MTB is a fifty mile course that goes out to Columbine Mine and back. The initial 50 miles is outbound and the return is called inbound. The race leaders then pass the slower riders on the second half of the course. On the trail, a couple of participants noted that Champion Dave Wiens who graciously encouraged other riders in years past was notably concentrating on his own race performance against Floyd Landis. Stuart Mann pictured below, said Floyd was 100 yards ahead of Dave during a section of the race, however, he was happy that Dave Wiens won. Stuart did feel pride in riding a race with a Tour de France Champion, Floyd Landis.

Pictured are Merillee (race organizer), Stuart Mann (participant) and Ken Chlouber (race organizer).

The 2007 Leadville Awards Ceremony gave homage to the men and women who participated in the 14th annual Leadville 100 MTB. With around a thousand initial participants, 588 completed the course under the 12 hour time limit. The home town spirit of accomplishment pervaded the packed gym.

Riders who completed the course under 9 hours and riders who completed 10 Leadville 100MTB received a large gold and silver buckle. Chris Carmichael of and coach to 7 time TDF winner, Lance Armstrong, missed the nine hour mark with a time of 9:05:00. Ken Chlouber, race organizer, held Chris’ buckle for all to see and said it will be waiting for Chris next year.

The award for the Last Ass over the Pass was handed out first to Thomas Hurley of Mattapoisett, MA for the time of 011:59:01. Three devoted Leadville riders have completed all 14 races. Riders who completed 11 L100MTB received a black jacket.

Dave Wiens crossing the finish line at record braking time of 6:58:46.

Dave Wiens and Gretchen Reeves received a hand crafted ore cart loaded with Leadville Ore for winning the overall race for men and women.

The race organizer Ken Chlouber noted he had missed an entrepreneurial opportunity to be corrected next year. Look for t-shirts printed with “GO DAVE!”

Floyd did return to the Leadville 100 MTB after an initial quick disappearing act after he crossed the finish line. He wore jeans, cowboy boots and hat, while drinking beer and graciously signing autographs. Many did not recognize Floyd incognito.

The worst incident on the course happened to the only consecutive three time Leadville Trail 100 bike and run finisher Dr. Jan Bear. Dr. Bear an orthopedic surgeon sustained a femur break during the 2007 Leadville 100MTB. Bill Brant a paramedic who was riding the course gave up the race to assist Dr. Bear. Dr. Bear's wife Kim finished her 10th race and graciously thanked all involved for their support of her husband. Dr. Bear was taken to Breckenridge that treats many broken bones from skiing accidents. His leg was pinned and he would be leaving the hospital either today or tomorrow. The Leadville entrance fee has been waived for next year for Bill Brant's devotion and act of kindness.

Floyd was a no show at the ceremony. He did receive tremendous applause for his efforts of 7:00:30.

On a future note, Ryan pictured with Floyd pre-race is a true bike fanatic. He enjoys holding both arms overhead as he passes the imaginary peloton over the finishing line. Ryan also has a feed zone as Mom runs along Ryan’s bike with a bag of goodies to feast on. He is uptodate with who won the 2007 Tour de France. I hope to see Ryan race TDF 2021. Go Ryan!