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I’m still fascinated by the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. The race has the same feel as a premier ironman event complete with the season long training, the predawn start, hundreds of racers and the high profile riders.  But for all the hype this race is still a race for everyman/woman who apply for limited lottery slots due to the many applicants.  The hundreds who ride are out to test themselves in a way most of us wouldn’t.  And what a test it it.  The idea of a 100 mile mtb race is challenging enough for most riders.  Adding in 15,000 feet of climbing while crossing part of the Rockies is just a little more than special sauce.  It is hard enough to catch your breath on a steep, prolonged climb.  It is quite another to try and suck sparse oxygen out of the air at 12,000+ feet.  Those who have simply hiked at that altitude can attest to the challenge. I am thoroughly impressed with the field of riders who took this challenge.

I’ve been spending most of the morning hunting videos to get a flavor of the race course, the racers and the overall event. This post is an assemblage of videos posted mostly on YouTube cataloging the 2008 Leadville 100 mountain bike race. I’m hoping to save you some time sorting through videos of the race.  If you see others of interest through out a comment and I’ll add them in.

If you only have time for one video the first video is a best bet.  It is an overview from a guy who took clips from all over the course and spiced them together with headings and transitions.  The next series of videos are in sequential order as best as I could discern. The video’s were taken by spectators which introduces a feeling of authenticity that professionally prepared video just can’t match. Of course you get some extras both good and bad with the amateur stuff.  The 2nd to last video is a short piece done by Lance himself maybe for Livestrong Foundation the day after the race. I conclude with a link to an excellent article by Steve Frothingham which contains some great photos and a nicely done professional video. For a laugh I’ve also included a mashup video of Lance crushing the Alpe D’ Huez in 2001 to a Cake song.

On with the show:

Start to finish overview with some decent editing and views from several sections on the course

Prerace Meeting Clip

Race Start Clip 1

Race Start Clip 2

Ride up Columbine (interesting trailer park dog situation)

Dave and Lance hiking up a steep section

Dave just before the finish

Dave finishing the race

Lance finishing the race

Post race video from Lance

Velonews article with nice wrap-up video plus post race interviews with Dave and Lance

2001 Lance on Alpe D’ Huez (Cake – Going the Distance)

Allez915

Dave Wiens on Leadville 100 MTB Race: Link
This is a nice article in Velonews about Dave Wiens’s perspective on the Leadville 100 Mtb Race being held

Dave Wiens 2008 Leadville 100 Bike

Dave Wiens 2008 Leadville 100 Bike

this weekend. Ya just got to like this guy. He seems really down to earth and unconcerned about the attention the race is getting due to Lance Armstrong’s participation. The whole 40+ thing has me rooting for him for sure. According to the article he will be riding a Rotwild carbon fiber full suspension bike.

Olympic Road Race – More on the Spanish Team Perspective: Link

Reading this article I’m still wondering what the math is that picks one of the Spanish team as leader over the others? I realize Valverde is fresh off a superb win at the San Sebastián Classic. Yet each of the riders has over the top credentials. Sastre has won the 2008 Tour de France, Freire won a stage and placed top five in several others, Sanchez finished seventh at the Tour de France and Contador won the 2007 Tour de France and won the 2008 Tour of Italy. It will be interesting to see how they work together. I suppose it could come down to how folks are doing in the moment as Contador said yesterday.  More than likely the leader will be  selected via some behind the scenes politics in that a team typically needs to commit to a leader early enough to make a difference.

Valverde identifies several riders who may contend for a medal including the Luxembourg contingent of Schleck brothers, who I think might be very eager to make a statement, Kim Kirchen who is well suited to this type of race. He also mentions that the German and Italian squads are strong. Noticeably absent from his list was Leipheimer, Vande Velde and Cadel Evens who haven’t done too badly this year either.

Google Earth Plot of the 2008 Beijing Road Race Course: Link

Allez915

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