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Wells and Bigham win Leadville 100

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Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the Leadville 100

Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the Leadville 100
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Legs

Legs
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Allison Powers (Herbalife) always a favorite with fans and media, and never shows any pain or suffering.

Allison Powers (Herbalife) always a favorite with fans and media, and never shows any pain or suffering.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Riders making their way up a short climb along the pipeline. Why is it called the pipeline? Because there is a natural gas pipeline along the trail.

Riders making their way up a short climb along the pipeline. Why is it called the pipeline? Because there is a natural gas pipeline along the trail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Yes, mountain bike racers do get some asphalt time in the Leadville 100 MTB. Cameron Cogburn (SmartStop) pulling while Christoph Sauser (Specialized) sits on his wheel and takes in the draft before his next pull.

Yes, mountain bike racers do get some asphalt time in the Leadville 100 MTB. Cameron Cogburn (SmartStop) pulling while Christoph Sauser (Specialized) sits on his wheel and takes in the draft before his next pull.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Riders all lined up and drafting each other

Riders all lined up and drafting each other
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Cameron Cogburn (SmartStop) pulling while Christoph Sauser (Specialized) sits on his wheel.

Cameron Cogburn (SmartStop) pulling while Christoph Sauser (Specialized) sits on his wheel.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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A few riders working together trying to pull in the group in front of them.

A few riders working together trying to pull in the group in front of them.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Greg Krause (Groove Subaru) takes in a stream crossing at about the 1 hour mark in the race. Krause went on to place 6th overall.

Greg Krause (Groove Subaru) takes in a stream crossing at about the 1 hour mark in the race. Krause went on to place 6th overall.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Alban Lakata (Topeak) finds his line before a stream crossing. Both Topeak riders opted to cross using the wooden bridge.

Alban Lakata (Topeak) finds his line before a stream crossing. Both Topeak riders opted to cross using the wooden bridge.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) prepares to get his feet wet in a stream crossing at approximately the 1 hour mark in the race.

Todd Wells (Specialized) prepares to get his feet wet in a stream crossing at approximately the 1 hour mark in the race.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The inhumanity of it all. Entering the abyss.

The inhumanity of it all. Entering the abyss.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Our future generation of racers singing our national anthem. A very moving moment and thanks all veterans for their service and sacrifices.

Our future generation of racers singing our national anthem. A very moving moment and thanks all veterans for their service and sacrifices.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Some of the faces before the start.

Some of the faces before the start.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Some of the faces before the start

Some of the faces before the start
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Before the start.

Before the start.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Some of the faces before the start. Thank you for both your dedication and vision for creating a world class event in our backyard.

Some of the faces before the start. Thank you for both your dedication and vision for creating a world class event in our backyard.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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A rider making his way towards the last climb before heading back to Leadville.

A rider making his way towards the last climb before heading back to Leadville.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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It was a mad house entering the Columbine.

It was a mad house entering the Columbine.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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This is Earl, one of the favotite moto refs in the Rockies, and always the lead bike most of the Leadville 100 MTB. Thank your officiaals and moto refs for all the long hard days making your race safe.

This is Earl, one of the favotite moto refs in the Rockies, and always the lead bike most of the Leadville 100 MTB. Thank your officiaals and moto refs for all the long hard days making your race safe.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Sally Bingham (Topeak) winner of the Pro womens race.

Sally Bingham (Topeak) winner of the Pro womens race.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Ben Bostrom (Specialized) never so happy to see the finish line in Leadville

Ben Bostrom (Specialized) never so happy to see the finish line in Leadville
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Leadville 100 MTB medals awaits all finishers.

Leadville 100 MTB medals awaits all finishers.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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A little bubbly action by the top 3 Pro mens podium

A little bubbly action by the top 3 Pro mens podium
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) trying to capture a little relief after taking a hard fought win.

Todd Wells (Specialized) trying to capture a little relief after taking a hard fought win.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Christoph Sauser (Specialized) moments after crossing the line for a close second place.

Christoph Sauser (Specialized) moments after crossing the line for a close second place.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) and his wife showing a little expression that he had a hard day at the office.

Todd Wells (Specialized) and his wife showing a little expression that he had a hard day at the office.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Sally Bingham (Topeak) leading a small group of riders up the single track. Sally went on to take the win in teh womens field by over 30 minutes.

Sally Bingham (Topeak) leading a small group of riders up the single track. Sally went on to take the win in teh womens field by over 30 minutes.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Kyosuke Takei (Japan) either signaling he's delerious or having fun...maybe both.

Kyosuke Takei (Japan) either signaling he's delerious or having fun...maybe both.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Max Jenkins (Herbalife) makes his way up the single track on the return trip to Leadville.

Max Jenkins (Herbalife) makes his way up the single track on the return trip to Leadville.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Alban Lakata (Topeak) makes his way up the single track

Alban Lakata (Topeak) makes his way up the single track
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) making his way up the single track.

Todd Wells (Specialized) making his way up the single track.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Kristian Hynek (Topeak) spent some time off the front only later to pay for his efforts.

Kristian Hynek (Topeak) spent some time off the front only later to pay for his efforts.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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FOCUS.

FOCUS.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)

On a crisp, clear Saturday morning in Leadville, Colorado, approximately 2,000 racers converged on the small historic silver mining town, nearly doubling the population of approximately 2,594, to compete in the 21st edition of the Leadville 100 MTB race. The race, also known as the "Race Across the Sky", took riders from a starting elevation of approximately 10,152 ft above mean sea level to the Columbine ‘s elevation of 12,424 ft, where riders turned around and headed back to Leadville, completing the 103-mile course.

With a stacked starting men’s field, there was much talk about breaking Alban Lakata’s (Topeak) course record of 6:04:01 from 2013. However, untimely flats or mishaps may have changed the dynamics of the race, with Todd Wells (Specialized) taking a hard fought win over Christoph Sauser (Specialized) for a winning time of 6:16:26.

Early in the race, a select group of riders, which included Wells, Sauser, Lakata, and Kristian Hynek (Topeak), entered the Powerline after rounding Turquoise Lake. As the riders made their way through the Powerline, Sauser flatted, leaving him to chase down a several minute deficit.

Later, as the trio of Wells, Lakata, and Hynek continued to put distance of the field, Lakata flatted between Pipeline and Twin Lakes, leaving just Wells and Hynek for the climb up Columbine.

While going up Columbine, Hynek distanced himself from Wells, with the Topeak rider eventually putting up to four minutes on Wells by the time he hit the singletrack. However, Hynek's fortunes were to change when Wells put in a Herculean effort along the back side of Powerline and caught the Topeak rider.

Once on the road, Wells eventually distanced himself from Hynek as the Topeak rider failed to stay on his wheel.

Meanwhile, further back in the field, Sauser made an ultra-human effort and closed a nearly five-minute deficit to just 17 seconds by the time the Specialized rider came across the finish line for second, with a time of 6:16:47. Hynek followed, rounding out the podium for third in 6:22:47. Despite superior form coming into Leadville, misfortunes along the course ruined Lakata’s efforts, and he finished fourth at 6:29:51.

Returning winner Sally Bingham (Topeak) stole the show and rode away from her closest competitors early in the race. By the time Bingham made the stream crossing as she was leaving the Powerline, the women's field was in clear and ever present danger of never catching the reigning winner.

Bingham was riding solo through the men's field, and by the time the Topeak rider made her way to the final feed zone before the fearful climb up the Columbine, she had over three minutes on her closest competitor at that time, Allison Powers (Herbalife24), the reigning US National Road, Criterium, and Time Trial Champion. Powers was later forced to retire from the race after multiple flats and crashes.

Bingham won the women's race in a time of 7:23:58, outdistanced her rivals by over 42 minutes, with Jennifer Smith (No Tubes Elite Women's Team) finishing second in 8:06:27, and Nina Baum (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) rounding out the podium for third with a time of 8:14:08.

Brief Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (Specialized)6:16:26
2Christoph Sauser (Specialized)0:00:18
3Kritian Hynek (Topeak Ergon)0:06:21
4Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon)0:13:25
5Max Jenkins (Herbalife)0:30:51

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon)7:23:57
2Jennifer Smith (Stan's NoTubes)0:42:29
3Nina Baum (Stan's NoTubes)0:50:10
4Jari Kirkland0:58:40
5Catherine Williamson1:07:29

 

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