WILMINGTON, N.Y. — Baseball has its World Series, football the Super Bowl and mountain biking has the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race (LT 100). The LT 100 is legendary.
Since 1994, the 103 mile long race, set 13,000 feet up in the treacherous Colorado Rocky terrain has tested each rider’s determination, guts and even sanity. So challenging and famous is this race, the LT 100 has even tested the toughness of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong , and Levi Leipheimer, the 2006 winner of the Dauphine Libere , and 2005 Deutschland Tour champion.
Since its inception, riders traditionally gained entry into the LT 100 by means of a lottery system. This year, Life Time Fitness, Inc. and AEG announced the creation of the Leadville Qualifying Series . The 2011 qualifying series will consist of three races, with each race covering approximately 100 kilometers and providing 100 entries to the LT 100. Fifty of these spots will be allocated based on age-group performance and the other fifty will be distributed by a drawing among the finishers who have met the time standard that is specific to each qualifying event.
“This series will allow the LT 100 to become more attainable to some riders whose dream it has been to get to the LT 100,” said David Weins, a six-time Leadville 100 MTB race champion. “There are a lot of bikers out there that want a taste of what the LT 100 experience is all about, yet may not necessarily have the time to train for such an intense competition. The Leadville Qualifying Series gives riders a bit of the thrill and shows them a little of what the LT 100 is all about, it’s a stepping stone for riders out there looking for some adventure, but not yet ready to move on to the next level.”
One of those qualifying races is slated to take place Sunday, June 19, in Wilmington, N.Y. The inaugural Wilmington/Whiteface 100k presented by SRAM is expected to bring more than 200 cyclists to the area, each hoping to grab one of those 100 coveted spots into the LT 100.
“The Town of Wilmington is very excited to be hosting this event and Leadville qualifier,” noted Randy Preston, Town of Wilmington supervisor. “This is a national caliber event that’s expected to bring the best of the best from competitive mountain biking. Wilmington and the surrounding region are known world-wide for spectacular rugged landscapes and that’s definitely going to challenge these riders.”
The Wilmington/Whiteface 100K event route will start at Whiteface Mountain, the site of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games alpine events, and test the competitors at every turn. Racers will tear down paved and dirt roads near Jay and Saddleback Mountains before returning to the Olympic mountain where a 2,566 foot climb awaits them before crossing the finish line.
“It’s a demanding course, one that will test these riders,” added Weins, who is also the race’s technical director. “The spectacular rugged landscape of this course is truly original to the other two qualifying events and that’s something that the selection team was looking for. This event will bring out the best from everyone in the field.”
There’s still time to register for the Wilmington/Whiteface 100k presented by SRAM. Registration includes on-course aid, professional timing, a t-shirt and a finisher award. Registrations will be accepted until midnight June 17.
For more information about the Wilmington/Whiteface 100k, log on to whitefaceregion.com