WILMINGTON, N.Y. — For mountain bikers who like high elevation racing on the most rugged of terrain, the Leadville Trail 100 is the Holy Grail. As one of the most well-known mountain bike races, getting into the Leadville Trail 100 has always been difficult.
One way to get in is by racing in one of the six 2012 LT100 Qualifiers across the country, each offering 100 total qualifying starting positions. And once again, Wilmington, N.Y. will host one of the qualifying events, the Wilmington/Whiteface 100 (WW100) , Sunday, June 17.
“The Town of Wilmington is extremely excited to host the Wilmington/Whiteface 100 once again,” remarked Town of Wilmington supervisor Randy Preston. “I think that our race course is the most diverse course in the Leadville Qualifier Series. We have added more mileage this year going onto the fifth Town. This will make it unique and a true ‘Adirondack’ event.”
As the only LT 100 qualifier in the Northeast, the WW100 will coincide with the annual Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest . The race will start and finish at Whiteface Mountain, home of the 1980 Olympic alpine competitions, and weave its way through jeep roads, back country tails, Jay and Saddleback mountains and through the towns Wilmington, Jay, Lewis, Elizabethtown and Keene before a grueling 2,501-feet climb awaits the racers at Whiteface ahead of the finish line.
“There’s something there for everyone,” said the LT 100 qualifying series technical director David Weins, a six-time LT 100 champion. “From single track, rugged back country roads, gravel and dirt roads, not to mention the climbs and descents, this course is going to offer a significant challenge. Perhaps similar to the LT 100 itself.”
Last year’s race drew more than 230 cyclists, nationwide, to the region including pro cyclist Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.), who won the race. The race also included a number of recreational riders, such as Susan Lynch (Medfield, Mass.), a 51 year old spinning instructor, and Chris Mazdzer (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), a 2010 luge Olympian.
With 70 to 100 qualifying spots entering into the Leadville Trail 100, organizers hope that this combined with all of the activities surrounding the Wilmington Bike Fest will bring even more cyclists to the region. The WW100 is the premier event of the four-day long Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest .
The Bike Fest will include Pro-Trials Demonstrations, “Best Calves of Wilmington Contest,” a “Brainless” not chainless downhill event and the Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race, which is a part of the BUMPS series .
“The whole idea of the weekend is to bring all types of cyclists together,” added Preston. “Wilmington and Whiteface are hidden cycling jewels and there’s no better way to showcase this area to the cycling community than through these events.”
Registration for the Wilmington/Whiteface 100 is $105 for the general public and $95 for Life Time members. Life Time employees can enter the race for $85. The race will be capped at 1,000 riders.
The top three cyclists in each division will receive awards and one qualifying slot will be given to the top male and female single speed finishers, while one more spot will be awarded to the top tandem team. The remaining LT 100 spots will be distributed based on performance and a lottery system. Racers who do come away with qualifications will have the opportunity to race in either this year’s LT 100, or next year’s.
Other LT 100 Qualifiers include the Austin Rattler 100, in April 21, in Austin, Texas; the Barn Burner 104, June 2, in Flagstaff, Ariz.; the Leadville Silver Rush 50, July 14, in Leadville, Colo.; the Tahoe Trail 100, July 22, in Lake Tahoe, Calif.; and the Alpine Odyssey 100, in Crested Butte, Colo. This race is slated for Sept. 15 and will serve as the first qualifier for the 2013 Leadville Trail 100.