Lance Armstrong Wins 2009 Leadville 100 Wiens 2nd

August 16th, 2009

Lance Armstrong Near Bottom of Powerline 2009 Leadville 100
The Leadville 100 mountain bike is a special race. Six of the last 8 years I’ve lined up early on a Saturday morning in August with hundreds of other mountain bikers. The 2 years I didn’t race myself, I was there to crew and spectate.

I finished the last 5 times I raced the Leadville 100. Some years I was fast and other years I was slow. This year I was in no shape to be fast but I thought I still had a good chance at finishing. Instead of finishing this year, I was sick from a stomach bug or something I ate the day before and dropped out after only 16 miles.

While I was having my issues near the back of the race, the lead group of riders was flying toward the Columbine Climb. It’s the longest climb of the race and tops out in thin air at 12,600 feet. Lance, taking a page out of his road racing, brought 4 late entries to help pace him to the bottom.

By the start of the climb only one rider was left with Lance. Six time winner Dave Wiens was just behind since he had made a quick stop at the Twin Lakes aid station which is just before the Columbine Climb. Lance was concerned about riding alone the rest of the way but was cold from the freezing rain so he went hard to warm up.

Lance Armstrong bottom of Columbine Climb, 2009 Leadville 100I arrived at the bottom of Columbine in plenty of time to see Lance come flying down. It was nearly 10 minutes before Wiens was down and another 7 minutes for 3rd place.

Next spot for spectating was the bottom of Powerline. Although the Powerline climb isn’t as long as Columbine, the very bottom is very steep and comes about mile 80 so it really hurts.

Between Lance being so fast and all the cars getting to the Powerline, I was still down close to the road and hadn’t gotten up to the steep part when he came through. It was amazing seeing a few hundred people lined up on the Powerline to see Lance. He said in some ways it was like the climbs in the Tour.

Dave Wiens on Powerline, 2009 Leadville 100I was told, not surprisingly, that Lance rode up the steep part. I was on the steep part when Dave Wiens came through and he walked part of it. Very few people ride all of it and most that do don’t go any faster than those that are walking.

Rather than go from the Powerline to the finish line, I stopped just outside of town where the Boulevard comes out to the pavement. I knew there was a big crowd at the finish line and I’d probably not get any where close.

Lance Nearing Finish, 2009 Leadville 100From the Powerline to the finish, Lance kept extending his lead. He got a leak in his rear tire a few miles out. He put air in it but it went flat again. He said he’s terrible at changing tires so he just kept riding.

Lance won in 6:28:50. This smashed the record of 6:45:45 that Dave Wiens set last year. Wiens came in for 2nd place with a time of 6:57:02

Dave Wiens Near Finish, 2009 Leadville 100Wiens didn’t win but he said, “He’s Lance Armstrong. And he’s just off of the Tour,” Wiens said after the race. “Last year he was just off of the couch. That made it a pretty fair fight for he and I. This year I rode fantastic today. I’m happy.”

Lance said at the awards ceremony that he loves the race and plans to be back next year. I also plan to be next year and to finish for my 6th time.

I have some Leadville 100 photos uploaded. Superhuman magazine has once again created a great Leadville 100 video.

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Top Ten Reasons Dave Wiens Will Beat Lance Armstrong at the Leadville 100

August 13th, 2009

Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong at 2008 Leadville 100
With Lance Armstrong fresh off his 3rd place at the Tour de France, lots of people think he’ll win easily over Dave Wiens at this year’s Leadville 100. I agree Lance seems in much better shape than last year. It also seems that finishing 2nd last year got under his skin so he’s motivated.

Dave Wiens has won the Leadville 100 six years in a row and holds the course record. He knows better than anyone how to race the Leadville 100. He has also been training hard this summer. I put together a fun list for MTBR of the top 10 reasons Dave Wiens will beat Lance Armstrong this Saturday.

10.) Twin Lakes is going to have its annual Coloradoans vs Texans tomato war a couple weeks early. It won’t go well for Lance.

9.) Dave won’t crash in the creek crossing at the bottom of Powerline like Lance did in a Winter Park race in 1999.

8.) Dave is from Colorado and not a transplant from Texas

7.) Dave has figured out how to use the electricity on Powerline to climb faster.

6.) The Tour de France wasn’t a good way to train for the Leadville 100

Go see the article on MTBR to see the rest of the top 10 reasons Dave Wiens will beat Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Leadville 100.

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Spectating the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race

August 12th, 2009

Leadville 100 MTB Start

This Saturday morning well over a 1,000 mountain bikers will line up on 6th street in Leadville. It will still be dark and very chilly when they show up to secure their starting position for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.

Many of the racers will be attempting to finish in under 9 hours to receive the coveted “big buckle”. Many more will be there just hoping to finish under the 12 hour cut-off. At the front will be a handful attempting to beat 7 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Dave Wiens, 6 time Leadville 100 winner, has the best shot at beating Lance Armstrong. He accomplished it last year by just under 2 minutes. This year though Lance has been back racing in the Pro road peloton so I expect Wiens will have to ride faster to keep his winning streak alive. Tinker Juarez should also do well.

So with all the buzz from Lance racing the Leadville 100 for the 2nd time, you might be wondering how you can watch the Leadville 100. I don’t know of any race day TV coverage although Citizen Pictures is planning a television show. Update: Citizen Pictures created a movie, Race Across the Sky, that was shown in theaters instead of a TV show.

If you live close enough, you can view some great mountain bike racing and Colorado scenery. There are 3 good spots for watching the race. They are the Start/Finish, bottom of Powerline and on County Road 10. Another great place to watch would be at timberline on the Columbine Climb but the road is closed on race day since it’s the course.

I have a Leadville 100 course map that’ll give you an overview of the course. There are camera icons on it. Clicking on the icons will pop up a photo of that part of the course. It’s a live Google Map so you can zoom in and pan around.

Start/Finish

The Leadville 100 starts at the corner of 6th Street and Harrison Avenue. Harrison is also Highway 24 and the main route through Leadville. Harrison is closed the morning of the race. Near race time it’s hard to find parking within a few blocks.

The race starts at 6:30 AM. It’s interesting to hang out and see everyone getting ready. A little before the start, I recommend walking about 5 blocks down 6th Street so you’re up on a little hill and can see the racers stretched out for blocks when the start.

If Lance breaks 6 hours like he thinks is possible, he’ll be back to the finish a little before 12:30. I doubt it’ll be much before 1:00 but you never know. The largest number of finishers will probably be coming in around 4-5 PM. The last riders will be rolling across the line as late as 7:30 PM.

Here are slideshows of Leadville 100 pre-race and start and finish in 2008.

Bottom of Powerline


Directions and Larger Maps

Powerline at Leadville 100The bottom of Powerline is a flying descent on the way out and a brutal climb headed back toward the finish. There’s also a small creek crossing at the bottom that can be an entertaining spot to watch.

The Google Map above marks the dirt road that cuts back to the Powerline. The big cut running straight up the mountain is the Powerline. The paved road past the dirt road to the Powerline is closed race day because it’s part of the course. Park along the road before that and walk in. Pay attention and stay out of the way of the racers.

The lead riders should be coming down Powerline just before 8 AM and be heading back up around 11:15. The last riders inbound will be a little after 3:30 PM.

Here are slideshows of racers coming down Powerline and of them heading up Powerline.

County Road 10


Directions and Larger Map

New Leadville 100 SingletrackCounty Road 10 is about 8 miles south of Leadville on US 24. It’s then almost 2 miles to the intersection of County Road 24A. This is where the racers will be coming off the new singletrack and onto the road.

I expect the lead riders will be through around 8:30 AM outbound and coming back around 10:45. Likely there will be a few racers still headed outbound when the leaders return. The last riders will be back through around 3:00 PM.

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Will Lance and Leipheimer Crush Leadville 100 Record?

June 28th, 2009

Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong at 2008 Leadville 100
In an interview on VeloNews, Lance Armstrong says he is bringing Levi Leipheimer to the Leadville 100 in August. He says the Tour de France and his other races are just a build up to Leadville. He says “seriously” and then he gives a big smile. This years race is August 15th.

He thinks with a strong group of racers they can bring the record down close to 6 hours. Dave Wiens set the record last year at 6:45 with Lance at 6:47. In 2007 Wiens set the old record of 6:58 with Floyd Landis pushing him. My personal record is 8:18.

Dave Wiens has won the last 6 years. He’s a Colorado native and is a huge favorite of the racers and fans. I’m sure he’ll come in top form and I hope he makes it win #7.

I’m sure I’ll just get glimpse of the top riders on their way down as I start my crawl up the Columbine Climb. I’ll be going to my 6th Leadville finish.

Related Links: Leadville 100 FAQ | Preliminary 2009 Leadville 100 Entrants | 2008 Wiens and Lance Leadville 100 Videos | 2007 Leadville 100 Photos

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Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong Leadville Videos

August 16th, 2008

August 9th, 2008, Lance Armstrong competed in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. Even most non-cyclists know who Lance is. Five time defending Leadville 100 champ, Dave Wiens, is less well known.

Even though Dave Wiens is less well known than Lance, he had a very successful mountain bike career. He won 2 World Cup races and numerous NORBA races. Dave was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2000.

During the early 90s, I saw Dave at many races in Colorado. Before mountain biking grew in popularity, often the Pros and Experts would start together and I’d be close to him on the start line.

Dave’s wife, Susan DeMattei, was also a top pro mountain biker. In 1996 she won a bronze medal at the Olympics in Atlanta. In 1994 she won the silver medal at Worlds. She was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1997.

Here are several videos of what became a race between Dave Wiens and Lance. Course conditions were great from rain leading up to the race. With the good course conditions and by working together they shattered the course record Wiens set in 2007 when Floyd Landis raced.


Lance Armstrong and David Wiens talking at the pre-race meeting.


Closer view of Lance Armstrong at the pre-race meeting.


Closer view of Dave Wiens at the pre-race meeting.


Great summary video of the 2008 Leadville 100.


Good video of that start that shows just how many racers there are. The race is so popular that there’s a lottery to do it.


Another video of the start.


Lead riders go through the Pipeline aid station outbound.


Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong hike-a-bike up the “North Face“.


Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong come into the Pipeline aid station on the way back.


Dave Wiens wins his 6th Leadville 100 with a new record of 6:45:45!


Lance finishes the 2008 Leadville 100 almost 2 minutes behind Dave Wiens.


Lance after he finished. It looks like he’s in the medical tent and shows his bloody elbow from his crash.


Lance calls Dave Wiens a stud at the awards ceremony and also mentions he may race Leadville again in 2009.


Lance gives a few thoughts on the race.


This video isn’t of Dave Wiens or Lance Armstrong but shows more of the course from a flip video camera on one of the racers.

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Dave Wiens Wins 6th Leadville 100, Lance Armstrong 2nd

August 10th, 2008

Update: Watch videos of Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong at the 2008 Leadville 100 | Complete unofficial 2008 Leadville 100 mountain bike results

2008 Leadville 100 MTB Start

Dave Wiens won the Leadville 100 mountain bike race yesterday. Lance Armstrong hung with him until about 10 miles to go.

Even though I’m 35 lbs over my race weight and only started training 6 weeks ago, I managed to finish in 11:21. That’s over 3 hours longer than my best time.

It was a long, painful day for me. It certainly wasn’t fitness that got me through the race. I just kept crawling along and probably was stopped less than 5 minutes the whole race.

Usually aid station splits are updated during the race and finish times posted and racers finish. They don’t seem to be posted this year except for unofficial results for the top 24.


1 Dave Wiens 6:45:45
2 Lance Armstrong 6:47:41
3 Manuel Prado 7:20:52
4 Ethan Passant 7:27:54
5 Jonathan Scholnick 7:30:16
6 Max Taam 7:32:26
7 Nate Whitman 7:39:14
8 Jim Lehman 7:39:35
9 Kevin Andrews 7:42:18
10 Kimo Seymour 7:43:31
11 Jake Rubelt 7:44:31
12 Chuck Gibson 7:44:31
13 Dax Massey 7:45:54
14 Garth Prosser 7:48:52
15 Jim Silverman 7:49:21
16 Ted MacBlane 7:49:37
17 Joel Mischke 7:51:27
18 Kent McNeill 7:56:17
19 Keith Collins 7:56:18
20 Bill MacFarlane 7:57:02
21 Yuki Saito 7:58:10
22 Paul Gorbold 7:59:03
23 Jeff Wardell 7:59:51
24 Ryan Hamilton 8:00:31

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Only a Few Hours Until the Leadville 100

August 8th, 2008

2008 Leadville 100 Race Number
The Leadville 100 starts in the morning. I’m about to find out if I can finish when I’m 35 lbs over my race and only trained for 6 weeks. I’m still giving myself a 50/50 chance of finishing.

Dave Wiens with My DaughterBoth Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong talked a bit at the racer meeting today. Dave talked about how he’s been coming to Leadville since he was young. One of his first races was the Mosquito Pass race here.

Lance downplayed how well he’ll do. He said he’ll be happy to be within an hour of Dave. Somehow I don’t believe that. He did say he’ll be showered and had meal by the time Chris Carmichael finishes. He rode the Columbine climb last week and said it was really tough.

One of the Trek guys had Lance’s bike out near the start. It is one sweet bike. Of course it’s more the engine than the bike.

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Leadville 100 MTB Pictures from Bottom of Powerline Inbound and at the Finish

August 26th, 2007

Floyd Landis Finishes the Leadville 100 MTB

I now have uploaded the Leadville 100 pictures for Powerline inbound and the finish. You can see the pictures from earlier in the race by going to 2007 Leadville 100 mountain bike picture page.

Related Links: Dave Wiens and Floyd Landis | 2007 Leadville 100 MTB Entrant List | 2006 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike pictures | Views from the Top of Columbine Climb | Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race Lottery

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Leadville 100 Pictures from the Bottom of the Columbine Climb

August 19th, 2007

Racers Just about to Start the Columbine Climb at the 2007 Leadville 100 MTB
I have added pictures from the bottom of the Columbine Climb outbound and inbound. I had already uploaded pictures from the start and from the Powerline outbound.

I still have pictures from the Powerline inbound and the finish to upload. When I get them uploaded there will be a link from the 2007 Leadville 100 mountain bike picture page.

Related Links: Dave Wiens and Floyd Landis | 2007 Leadville 100 MTB Entrant List | 2006 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike pictures | Views from the Top of Columbine Climb | Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race Lottery

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Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Pictures

August 17th, 2007

Mark Smith Falls Into the Creek at the Bottom of the Powerline
I have uploaded pictures of the Leadville 100 Pre-Race and Start and of the Powerline outbound. Since I have so many pictures, I’m breaking them up into the different places I was on the course. I will add more links to the 2007 Leadville 100 mountain bike picture page as I get time.

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