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!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Leadville Finish Line Update

In a small town race you are bound to meet everyone. I took this picture of Floyd and Ryan before the race.


It was a brisk 43F this morning. This pre-race photo shows Floyd greeting other fans.

This is the lead out of the starting line.  Floyd is in the center behind the car and slightly behind the rider in blue.

I met Suzanne, Ryan's mom at the Fish Hatchery twenty miles into the race and six miles before the first crew pit stop at Pipeline. We enjoyed cheering the riders and gave the riders who waved and acknowledged us back with "points".
The lead group contained five riders including Dave Wiens, Floyd Landis and Mike Kosler.

My second shot shows the detail of Floyd's injuries that happened early in the race.

It was hot at the finish line. It was exciting. Dave Wiens had broken the record of 7:05 by finishing at 6:58:46. Floyd finished at 7:00:30 also besting the old record.


Floyd disappeared pretty quickly after he finish. I hope to see all the riders tomorrow for the awards ceremony in the Leadville gym.

Next time I would like to ask for press credentials so I get better photos!

Leadville Hatchery

Near the 20 mile mark of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race prior to the Pipeline crew station there is a National Fish Hatchery. The lead group of five riders including Dan Wiens and Floyd Landis passed the hatchery at 8:10 am. Photos confirmed the observation that that Floyd had a red raspberry on his thigh and blood on his knee. Floyd is number 1220.

Standing along the side of the road a few cyclists nearly took my toes off. I am not a crazy Basque fan and was politely in the dirt. But I did move back after a few close encounters. The riders were strung out and dribbled past us for the next hour that we stayed.

Leadville Startline

We arrived at Harrison and 6th in Leadville Colorado for the race start. The elite riders had their bikes lying on the pavement as the rest of the peloton queued up behind the netting. The fire engines arrived to put up the start/finish banner. Late arrivals were checking in with race organizers at the start line. There weren't alot of spectators until Floyd Landis appeared and the flock congregated for signatures and photo ops. After a few snapshots we hiked up the hill on 6th to watch the peloton start the race. The array of riders passed by. There were five tandems, but I saw only three. I also saw the rider with the one leg. As the group moved up this little incline, a rider commented "this hill feels good!"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grey and Orange Sighting

I was on a historical tour of Leadville in a locamotive "bus" this afternoon winding its way around the town through Millionaire's Row, the Churchs, the buildings to support the mining industry from 1860 - 1982. The engineer tooted his horn, chimed his bell and waved to the many friends along the route. We stopped along Sixth Street headed towards Harrison for a detailed explanation of the surrounding mountains, towns, passes. The rider came up the hill fast. I noted the Orange and Grey colors of the Smith & Nephew kit that Floyd Landis is sporting these days. It was 1:00 pm. It remains to be seen if Floyd is out for the top 10. Dan Wiens came in at 7 hours 13 minutes in the 2006 Leadville 100 which would put the finish time at 1:43 pm. When and where did you start your training today Floyd?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Leadville Thursday August 8

The view from 10,152 feet above sea level here in Leadville, Colorado is spectacular. The Rocky Mountains surround this quaint mining village with a splendor that only nature can provide. The native residents are open and friendly inspite of our out of town mannerisms. We have walked the main drag and discovered the place to stay is the Delaware Hotel. Warning you must book the Delaware now for the 2008 Leadville Race Days as they fill very quickly. Needless to say, I am down the road at a different establishment and learning to adapt to a less than five star motel. Mind you now, the Delaware in all its wit and charm welcomes its residents with a sign stating "No bikes. No cleats allowed inside the Hotel. Violators will be hung at noon."

Cyclists are pouring into this town as cars with bikes of all shapes and sizes are seen. As we entered our room, another guest Brenton Hamilton was washing his bike on our patch of green grass. He is here from the San Jose area to participate in 2007 Leadville 100 MTB. He came in 118 in 2005. This California contingent will be cheering him on.

We hope to see Floyd Landis in his orange and grey kit Saturday morning. Whether that other Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong shows up remains to be seen. Reports are he is in Colorado Springs this evening. I am not holding my breath for Lance. I am here for Floyd and about 1,000 other mountain bike racers.