It’s was the infamous and legendary Leadville 100 yesterday, a long-running mountain bike event pitting competitors over a gruelling 100-mile course in Colorado. Among the thousands that took to the start line this year was ex-F1 racer Mark Webber.
Mark Webber is well known for his fondest of mountain biking. He once broke his leg mountain biking at his own event which he runs, the Tasmania Challenge, a 250km endurance event consisting of mountain bike riding, kayaking and trekking
“Without doubt this will be one of the toughest events that I have ever taken part in,” said Webber. “I could be on the saddle for more than nine hours at more than 3,000 metres above sea level, so dealing with high altitude will be one of the main issues. It’s not surprising that plenty of people end up walking with their bikes as your upper body and shoulders will be tested to the limit on the rocky terrain.
“I’m not expecting to be up there with the professionals, but it could be a pretty quick course and in that case I’ll be happy with a big buckle which is awarded to riders who finish within nine hours. What is for certain is that I’ll be aching the next day!”
The Leadville 100 was established in 1994 and is one of the most well known mountain bike events on the calendar, certainly one of the hardest marathon events and most prestigious. Starting from the Leadville, an old mining town, with an altitude of 3,100m, the race climbs a total of over 3,400m with some major climbs in excess of 900m.
The course record for the men currently stands at 6:16:37, set by professional road racer Levi Leipheimer. It was his first mountain bike race. Two-time winner Rebecca Rusch holds the women’s record with a time of 7:31:46. David Wiens is the most successful competitor, winning the race six-times on the trot between 2003 and 2008.
Here are a couple of Leadville 100 videos to give you a taste of what it’s all about.