After finishing second to six-time race winner Dave Wiens at the Leadville 100 last year, Lance Armstrong returned this year and not only beat Wiens by nearly 7 minutes, but also set a course record by 17 minutes, crossing the line in 6:28:50.
The 100-mile race is considered one of the most grueling one-day races on the planet. Much of it takes place above 9,000 feet, and parts of the course climb to nearly 13,000 feet in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Armstrong pulled away from the other competitors 35 miles in and raced the remaining 65 miles alone.
“He’s Lance Armstrong. And he’s just off of the Tour,” Wiens told the Associated Press. “Last year he was just off of the couch. That made it a pretty fair fight for he and I. This year I rode fantastic today. I’m happy. He killed it. He got away from Ben Sonntag and time trialed it for 65 miles.”
Not everything went smoothly for Armstrong, however. He suffered a flat miles from the finish.
“I don’t normally change flats. I call the car and they fix it. That’s the way it works in road cycling,” Armstrong told the AP. “And when I’m out on a ride and have to change one, I’m just terrible at changing flats. So, that’s why I just put more air in it, thinking that the foam would seal it. And it did for a while and then I just said, ‘Ah, screw it, I’ll just ride it home.'”
Fortunately for Armstrong, he was only about a mile from the finish line when his tire lost its remaining air and he had a large enough lead to ride across the finish.
More to follow.