In 1990 my good friend, former roommate and co-worker Steve Smith convinced me that racing a 40-mile mountain bike event in northern Wisconsin would be fun, memorable and exciting. Eighteen years later, Pal Steve is still at it, only now it's 100-mile mountain bike racing tickling his fancy, not mine. Cue the Leadville 100.
Most cyclists on the planet know that seven-time Tour de France winner and Livestrong advocate Lance Armstrong finished a close second to six-times winner Dave Wiens in the August 9th race. Unlike the Tour, anyone who registers, prepares and races mountain bike events like the Leadville 100 get to race (and mingle) with the stars. The 42-year-old Smith, his family, and several others from Wisconsin drove to Colorado to acclimate to the altitude and prepare.
Wiens, 43, and Armstrong, 36, made it a memorable event, as you can see in the videos below.
Leadville 100: Wiens vs Armstrong
Dave Wiens winning the 2008 Leadville 100
Lance after Leadville
For Smith's take on his first Leadville, click here.