Few mountain bike races have earned the title of “legendary,” but if one is a shoo-in for the list it’s the Leadville Trail 100. With a starting elevation above 10,000 feet, it climbs to more than 14,000 through thin, Colorado air. In a race where just finishing is a victory, this year Alban Lakata took the Men’s victory in 5 hours, 58 minutes and 35 seconds, while Annika Langvad took the Women’s victory in 6 hours, 59 minutes and 24 seconds. Lakata is a three-time winner, the reigning Cross Country World Champion and was the first to finish the course in less than six hours. There were more than 1,600 starters.
Photographer Rocky Arroyo was there to capture the action in this photo gallery. Click on the magnifying glass to see full-size images.
Editor’s note: Last weekend Dirt Rag’s “sponsored” SoCal racer Lance Nicholls lined up for his first cross-country first race of the new year. While the rest of the vet pros (and open pros) were on geared bikes, Lance races only on a singlespeed. Here’s how his winning ride unfolded. Congratulations Lance and thanks for doing us here at Dirt Rag proud.
By Lance Nicholls. Photos by Chris Jones
It was the first round of the Southridge Winter Series in Fontana, California. Laps are approximately 5.5 miles with about 1,200 ft of climbing—Southridge is known for very rocky, technical singletrack and steep punchy climbs. It’s great early season racing to get back into competition mode.
I ride the Vet Pro class for the extra laps compared to the singlespeed class and to also just have more competition. There were eight guys on geared bikes and myself on an Ibis Tranny 29 singlespeed with a Gates belt drive. My game plan was to try and get out front early to put time on everybody since there is a long flat finish where “geared” riders can easily ride away from me while I’m spinning out. We started two minutes behind the open pros.
Since the start chute is fairly narrow I was on the second row. The horn sounded and we were off. I went way inside into the first turn, got to the front and tried to control the pace as well as my breathing. I was able to stay there for a mile or so through some rocky singletrack. Once we hit the initial climb one guy got around and I stayed on his wheel up that climb until we hit a long, steep asphalt ascent. I made my move around him as soon as we hit the pavement and went hard up the hill until it turned left onto singletrack. By then I had a good gap and continued to put my head down to increase it.
With the first lap down, I had about a 30-second gap and was catching younger riders in the Pro class ahead. I kept trying to control my breathing and heart rate so I could hit the climbs hard and keep opening the gap farther. By the end of the second lap I had caught two guys from the class ahead and had about a minute lead going into the final lap.
Maintaining my pace, I caught one more guy and then started to relax some knowing my lead was good enough to stick as long as I stayed upright and without any mechanical issues. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour and 21 minutes, which was 1 minute and 12 seconds ahead of second place in the Vet Pro class. I also ended up third overall out of all the pros on the course. It was a good day for singlespeeding.Tweet Print
Photos courtesy of Peter Morning/MMSA
USA Cycling has announced that the 2015 cross-country and enduro national championships will move from Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon, to Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, California. It will now coincide with the Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships. All events will take place July 14-19.
According to USA Cycling, the decision to relocate from Bend to Mammoth is “based on a restriction of resources and personnel due to coinciding cycling and other athletic events in the greater Bend area at that time.”
Originally scheduled for the second weekend in July, the Gravity National Championships now take place a week later to coincide with the week of competition.
The full USA Cycling 2015 National Championships event calendar will be released shortly.Tweet Print
Hot on the heels of the the SB5c trail bike, Yeti releases a new cross country platform dubbed the AS-Rc.
As much as longer trail trail bikes are everyone’s favorite topic these days, not everyone wants or needs all that travel and slackness. This new AS-Rc should fill in the gap nicely between the trail bikes and ARC carbon hardtail.Tweet Print
The UCI released the 2015 schedule today and it includes six cross-country events, seven downhill events and zero cross-country eliminator events.
The season will kick off on April 11-12 with round one of downhill in the new venue of Lourdes (France). Although new to the World Cup calendar, Lourdes has already hosted the French Cup, and will present riders with a 2.5km long course that descends 600 meters in altitude.
The other first-time destination next year is Lenzerheide, Switzerland, which will organise a double event (downhill and XC) on July 4-5. This will be the first of three consecutive rounds (2015-2017) in the Swiss resort as it prepares to host the World Championships in 2018.Tweet Print