On Wednesday we feature the World's 10 Interesting & Unusual Bike races:
Our goal is to travel the world with you in search of the most unusual, fun, and interesting races from Peoria to Peking.
Today we travel to Leadville, Colorado for the Leadville Trail 100.
Known as the race across the sky as it starts and ends in Leadville, Colorado (3,094 M and/or 10,152 FT) the highest city in the United States, this 100 mile mountain bike race was relatively obscure until this year.
A few months ago the race gained international recognition when Lance Armstrong used it as his coming out of retirement race. He almost won had it not been for amateur mountain bike racer David Weins.
Wiens had been working with, and battling Armstrong, for nearly 90 miles over some of Colorado's toughest mountain bike terrain. He could not believe what he had just heard.
He turned to Armstrong and said, Come Lance Let's stay together.
Lance repeated that he was done and in that moment Dave Weins did something that no other professional bike racer was able to do for seven years at the Tour de France.
Wiens beat Armstrong in a bike race and took the top spot on the podium. A few days later Armstrong announced his comeback to professional cycling.
You can watch the very interesting video HERE.
The New York Times filed this reports:
This is the man who made Lance Armstrong cry “uncle.”
On a recent weekday morning here 7,700 feet up in the Rocky Mountains, with his wife already at work, David Wiens fed and packed up his three sons and cajoled them to get out the door to school, prepared for some volunteer work and hoped to maybe squeeze in an hourlong bike ride before rushing off to pick up the children in the afternoon.
A day later, Wiens, a 44-year-old Denver native, will be catching passes for his flag football team. And soon, when the snow hits, he will stop riding altogether until spring. Instead, he will ski most days, when he is not playing on his recreational league hockey team.
“I try to make fitness part of everyday life,” Wiens said. Like his wife, the Olympic bronze medalist Susan DeMattei, Wiens was a professional mountain biker until he retired from the circuit four years ago. Now he races just a few times a year to stay in shape.
“But I make it fit our family life,” he added. “That’s what’s most important to me.”
That may not be the workout regimen expected of a cyclist who two months ago pushed and broke Armstrong, the man who seemingly could never be broken in his seven consecutive Tour de France victories. Their competition, in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, set in motion Armstrong’s decision to make a professional comeback.
“I’d thought a little bit about coming back to cycling before that,” Armstrong said in a recent interview. “But the process of training for it and excitement of being on the start line and competing again went a long ways to kick-starting a comeback.”
Armstrong had officially retired from racing three years earlier, when he won that seventh Tour de France. But as someone who never fell completely out of race shape, and who had put in some serious training to prepare for the race, he did not go to Leadville on Aug. 9 to lose.
But he did.
The 100-mile race is brutal, starting at 10,200 feet, climbing at one point to 12,600 feet and covering a total of 14,000 feet of climbs.
You can get to read the rest of the story HERE.
* Click HERE to explore and travel to the rest of the World's 10 most Interesting & Unusual races.