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Armstrong vs. Wiens, Take 2

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Aug 3, 2009
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big johnson said:
The Leadville course is not a tech course at all. So MTB skills really won't play too much into the game. Besides LA has some serious skills off road. He just beat Jay Henry (Jay placed 5th in USA Nats last month) in the Colorado State Champs on a course that Jay called an 8 out of 10 on technical merit. Not bad for a roadie.

So yeah, Lance can off road with the best.
And the Leadville Course is mostly all fireroad, gravel road and pavement. There is a rumor about a new singletrack section but I doubt it will play a part in the overall.

I don't agree that Lance can off road with the best of them, at least not when it comes to real mountainbiking, which as you noted, Leadville is not. I'd be very surprised if Lance could hang in the top 20 of a World Cup XC race.

Upon further reflection, I hope the top racers don't bring domestiques to ride with them, I'd rather see it one on one. I sent Lance a message on Twitter conveying this thought of mine.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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ProTour said:
I hope the top racers don't bring domestiques to ride with them, I'd rather see it one on one.

Well, he just won the race and set a course record in the process. Good for him, like him or not one has to admit that it takes skill to beat mtn bikers at their own game. Yeah, yeah, fireroad and all that. It is still a very different machine than he rides all year.

Does anyone know if Lance or Wiens had riders dedicated to their cause? It would be a shame if one did and the other did not.
 
pedaling squares said:
Well, he just won the race and set a course record in the process. Good for him, like him or not one has to admit that it takes skill to beat mtn bikers at their own game. Yeah, yeah, fireroad and all that. It is still a very different machine than he rides all year.

Does anyone know if Lance or Wiens had riders dedicated to their cause? It would be a shame if one did and the other did not.

Nobody was riding for LA or Wiens. Lance rode the last 60 miles solo, after dropping everyone in the lead group on the Columbine Mine climb.
 
Aug 15, 2009
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Nice ride by LA, Now for the LA haters to explain what he used to perform this well. After reading many of these posts I expect a volley across the bow any minute. A 1/2 hr lead was expected based on his Snowmass first lap.

Congrats Lance,a good win!!
 
Good ride. It's not all graded fire road either. There are some tricky technical sections. There's a section right off the paved road on the way out where you climb really rough stuff - football sized rocks all over the trail. And obviously you descend it about 70 miles later. And the powerline is no fire road.

No, you have to be all round good to win this, not just fit.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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While no fan of Armstrong I have to applaud his participation. It is great to see events like Leadville get increased exposure. It also shows how far ahead European pros are. Armstrong's peak was a month ago. Sure he has been riding but you lose a good chunk coming off your peak.

I hope that leadville, and races like it, continue to gain in popularity. In Europe you have Mtn Bike endurance races, Stage races, as well as Grandfondo's and Cyclosportifs that are attended by thousands of riders. Everyone from big Pro's to fat old guys. The depth of competition is incredible and the atmosphere is much better then any parking lot crit. We need more events like this here as they are the best part of our sport.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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I know it is all Lance and Weins in here but super psyched for my buddy as he really ripped it. His name is Alex Grant and rides for monavie-cannondale - ended up finishing 4th. I guess he rode 50 miles in 3rd place, in no mans land, then crashed, bent his derailuer and then bonked, only to get passed by shriver in the last 2 miles. Gotta love these guys in top ten who are essentially weekend warriors like all of us - full time jobs, barely any time to train, but rip it when they have to. Congrats to Alex - he keeps getting better and better every year because of his dedication and determination! I hear there was cold cold rain at times during the race - 43 degrees.
 
Jun 20, 2009
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I think it is funny that so many people are saying that the course at leadville is "not a mountain bike course" or is not technical at all. I completed the course in 08' and it has sections where it reminds you of an old style downhill MOUNTAIN BIKE course. You reach high speeds going down Columbine/Powerline, etc. through rocks and some monster ruts that could swallow you up if you pick the wrong line. Go race the course and then come back and report on it. I've done the 24 hours of Moab and other "technical" courses, but was not on the edge of control like I was bombing downhill at Leadville.

I was a volunteer this year as I did not get chosen in the lottery and for the last 3 years have listened to roadies tell me how much harder the course was than they thought it would be.
 
Race Radio said:
I hope that leadville, and races like it, continue to gain in popularity. In Europe you have Mtn Bike endurance races, Stage races, as well as Grandfondo's and Cyclosportifs that are attended by thousands of riders. Everyone from big Pro's to fat old guys. The depth of competition is incredible and the atmosphere is much better then any parking lot crit. We need more events like this here as they are the best part of our sport.

Bit of a dichotomy going on there!

I really like the out of the way atmosphere of Leadville. Both the town and the race. The town has a great, down to earth feel about it. I used to do the Vail Ultra 100 as well as Leadville, but Vail was never as good.

If it just become another famous event crammed with pro riders, it will lose a lot of appeal.

When I get fit again, and plan a trip to the moutain states, I'll try to get into another race. Maybe the Pierre's Hole 100 miler.
 
LEADVILLE, Colo. (AP)—Lance Armstrong can’t remember the last time he raced 65 miles by himself.

“I don’t know, maybe when I was a young, young kid,” he said. “You would never do that on the Tour, so none of the Tours I won.

“Quite literally in those Tours, excluding time trials, I probably rode alone for 20 miles. … It’s been a long time since I was time trialing for that long.”

So strong was Armstrong on Saturday that he left the rest of the field in the mud just 35 miles into the lung-searing Leadville 100 mountain bike race, winning the nation’s highest-altitude endurance test in record time.

Despite racing through freezing rain at the start, which made it difficult to shift gears on the foreboding descents on a flat back tire for the final 10 miles, Armstrong shaved nearly 17 minutes off the record, winning in 6 hours, 28 minutes, 50 seconds.He dethroned six-time defending champion Dave Wiens, who came in second in 6:57:01 a year after holding off the seven-time Tour de France champ by about two minutes.

“He’s Lance Armstrong. And he’s just off of the Tour,” Wiens said. “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.

“He killed it. He got away from Ben Sonntag and time trialed it for 65 miles.”

Last year, Wiens won in a record time of 6:45:45, but that was before Armstrong began training in earnest for his return to the Tour this year.

The race featured 1,400 mostly amateur cyclists and began with snow-crested peaks as a backdrop. Armstrong and Wiens were in a pack of pro racers that broke away early, but they fell back one by one, including Tinker Juarez because of a broken seat clamp 30 miles into the race.

“Of all things, a seat clamp,” Juarez said. “I was just beginning to get my confidence up. I couldn’t believe what happened. How could something that simple take me out?
 

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