Organizers of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race announced which six events will serve as qualifiers in 2012. The popular 100-miler, held at altitude mostly on dirt roads in and around Leadville, Colorado, is historically tough to enter.
For many years, racers have had to win the Leadville registration lottery to secure their spots, but in 2011, race owner Lifetime Fitness, Inc. created a qualifier system. Solo racers who perform well at the qualifiers can earn entry into the Leadville 100 without having to play the registration lottery.
Qualifiers for 2012 will begin in Austin on April 21. For a complete schedule, see below.
The 2012 Leadville 100 will be held on August 11. The race historically draws some top cycling stars - sometimes roadies, sometimes cross country mountain bike racers and of course, marathon mountain bike racers. Defending champion Todd Wells (Specialized) is likely hoping he won't be able to return to defend his title as the 2012 London Olympic Games are being held the same weekend. Wells has been named to the US Olympic Mountain Bike Long Team. No such conflict should arise for defending women's champion, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized), who is not chasing a spot on the US Olympic Mountain Bike Team.
Racers who qualify at the first five 2012 Leadville Qualifier Series events may elect to race in the Leadville Trail 100 for 2012 or defer until 2013. The final qualifier in Crested Butte will occur after the 2012 Leadville 100, so qualifiers at that event will have their qualification carried forward into 2013.
For details on how to qualify at the qualifiers, visit the Leadville website.
2012 Leadville Qualifiers
April 21: LQS Austin 100, Austin, Texas
June 2: LQS Barn Burner 104, Flagstaff, Arizona
June 17: LQS Wilmington Whiteface 100, Lake Placid, New York
July 14: Leadville Silver Rush 50 MTB, Leadville, Colorado
July 21: LQS Tahoe Trail 100, Tahoe, California
September 15: LQS Alpine Odyssey 100, Crested Butte, Colorado