Lance Armstrong won round two of the Leadville 100 battle with six-time winner Dave Wiens.
Armstrong crossed the line solo, riding on a flat rear tire, on a sunny Saturday afternoon high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Racing for Mellow Johnny's, the seven-time Tour de France winner pedalled slowly against the resistance of his deflated tire across the red carpet leading uphill to the finish line, where spectators lined both sides of the road.
Wiens (Topeak Ergon) finished second, also riding on his own, approximately 25 minutes behind Armstrong.
"I am beat. I rode as hard as I could - a fantastic race. Lance is fast," said Wiens to reporters gathered at the finish. "This year's race was very different than last year's race."
"This year, Lance is coming off the Tour (de France). Last year, Lance was coming off the couch," joked Wiens, who was happy with his second placed finish. It was soon after last year's Leadville race that Armstrong announced his return to professional cycling.
The Texan was slowed near the end by crowds who at times spilled onto the streets near the finish, but he'd worked earlier in the race to establish a very comfortable gap.
A group of leaders emerged early in the race, which started faster than previous years. Ben Sontag was one rider setting the blistering pace according to Wiens. At about mile 40, Wiens suffered and dropped off the group. Armstrong soon made his escape and rode more than half of the 100-mile event on his own in individual time trial mode. Wiens worked his way up into a solid second-place finish.
Approximately 1,300 racers started the race at 5:45 am, just after it became light. They would have 12 hours to complete the event and earn an official time.
Race favorite Tinker Juarez abandoned the race after his seat clamp failed. Two other favorites, Jeremiah Bishop and Levi Leipheimer, had to sit out the race due to injuries.
Specialized's Rebecca Rusch, who won the 24 hours of Adrenalin solo world championships at the end of July, was the fastest woman of the day in Leadville. She won with a time of 8:14:53, approximately one hour and 45 minutes behind Armstrong. Her time placed her in 30th overall among the men.
Amanda Carey finished 25 minutes behind Rusch for second place in the women's race.
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.
|1 Lance Armstrong||6:28:51|
|2 Dave Wiens|
|3 Matt Scriber|
|4 Alex Grant|
|5 Len Zanni|
|6 Max Tamm|
|7 Travis Brown|
|8 Manuel Prado|
|9 Mike Hogan|
|10 Jason Tullous|
|1 Rebecca Rusch||8:14:53|
|2 Amanda Carey|