LT100 MTB: Something Old, Something New
Results, Reactions to the Leadville 100
While the catchphrase “something old, something new” is generally attributed more to a summer wedding than an August race, it seems an appropriate way to surmise last weekend’s 26th edition of the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race (LT100MTB). So before this mountain town heads into another BIG race weekend with the 100-mile “Race Across The Sky” Run, Leadville Today (LT) brings readers its 2019 LT100MTB report. In this something old, something new post, LT breaks down some of the things that were new for the iconic race and what remained familiar to residents and racers. LT100 MTB
LT100MTB Championship Finishes
It was a 3-peat the 2019 LT100 MTB Championship for 26-year-old Howard Grotts a pro-rider from Durango, Colo. And while some might say it was a something old for the repeat victory, Grotts tallied a new personal best with a 6:19:18 time and a more than 3-minute lead ahead of second-place finisher 18-year-old Quinn Simmons of Durango, clocking in with 6:22:24 finish time, with the third-ranking going to 27-year-old Lachlan Morton of Louisville at 6:22:42.
It was a clear “something new” for the women’s field, as pro-rider Rose Grant secured her first Championship for the women’s field coming in at 7:36:06. But if the men’s field provided a measurable 1st to 2nd place gap-finish, the women’s gap proved to be even wider with more than 15 minutes between Grant’s Championship win and second across the line for the women, 29-year-old Sarah Strum from Durango with a final time of 7:54:23. Rounding out the women’s podium was Angela Parra, a 37-year-old pro cyclist from Santa Ana, Calf who locked in a 7:55:56 finish time. Final results for all of the nearly 2,000 registered can be found HERE.
2019 Start Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race
The 2019 “Race Across The Sky” Expo
Traffic, crowds, congestion. No doubt, it’s become part of Leadville’s August. For most residents, it means altering regular driving routes and even time schedules; most simply know the back roads and alter their plans accordingly to avoid most of the mayhem as more than 1,500 cyclists their support crews, race sponsors and spectators converge on the corner of 6th and Harrison Avenue for what has put Leadville on the international map for racing.
And while there’s little doubt that the races have grown, so have safety and security concerns. This year the race owners – Life Time ® – rolled out a new plan after years of complaints about the congestion on Harrison Avenue during race weekends, especially after the controversial reconfiguration of Leadville’s main drag in 2017. So this year it was, welcome to gravel park! The new “Race Across The Sky” Expo is located along Poplar Street, between East 5th & 6th Streets. These city lots were bought by race owners in 2018 then cleared and reconfigured into an area for sponsors, non-profits and others to pop-up their tents during the races.
For the racing world, the venue would provide another stop on their traveling circus that now moves from race to race supporting team athletes, promoting products and yes, ringing up thousands of dollars in sales.
Overall the new venue was well-received and clearly eased some of the mayhem from the county courthouse lawn. However, reviews from the East 6th Street neighbors were mixed as the race-weekend challenges that their west-side counterparts have endured for years had made its way across the avenue. Listed below is a range of comments from the LT Facebook Page:
- Denise Flory We’ll see how well it works pretty quickly! It’s weird not being in the “normal” spot, but it does seem to make sense in terms of easing traffic. So…let’s see how it goes!
- Mitch Dulleck I think it’s a Great idea!
- Julia Martinez As a local, I don’t like any of this. We live on 7th and start hearing all the BS at 4am. I feel sorry for the people on 6th. Why can’t these races be set up south of town??? They can end the races, here in town. But DAMN!!!! When there are that many racers, and all that are cheering them on, plus all the trash we have to pick up. It is getting really old!!!!
- Kristen Skove King I am loving it! Much easier for traffic in town around the race days.
- Buster Drew Move it to Vail or Frisco.
- Robbie Seibel I’m glad the series is working to address some of the issues folks have expressed over the years. It looks nice!
A Peek at the 2019 LT100 MTB Pre-Race Meeting
Same Old, Never Gets Old Legacy Foundation
While some residents and racers have expressed concerns about LRS owners Life Time ® re-directing funds away from the Leadville community towards their Minnesota-based foundation, Leadville Today is glad to report a milestone success for the local coffers.
For the 5th year, Leadville hometown hero Ty Hall completed his LT100MTB “Dream Chaser” challenge to help raise money for the Leadville Legacy Foundation. Hall starts at the back of the race and passing fellow MTBers, his efforts raise awareness and funds to support the needs of the Leadville community. In 2019, Hall passed 1643 other riders during his 18th LT100 MTB, and raised over $100,000 for the LT100 Legacy Foundation. And he did it in 8.5 hours! Awesome job and miles of thanks, Ty!
Women Ride The World
In a race day leadup on August 9, there was a “Women Ride the World” panel discussion held at the Race Across The Sky Expo. The event was produced by the Leadville Race Series and promoted as an opportunity to “explore the inclusion of women in cycling, specifically mountain biking, and ways to encourage and promote women in the industry, both on and off the bike.”
Moderated by Jenn Dice with the People4Bikes organization, it was a standing-room-only audience as 4x Champion Rebecca Rusch, the 2019 Women’s Champion Rose Grant, LT100 Founder and former Race Director Merilee Maupin, and 17-time LT100 finisher Roxanne Hall discussed how to get more women out riding bikes, what makes cycling attractive to women and the wage disparity between male and female pros in the field.