LEADVILLE - The rumors are true: Lance Armstrong is scheduled to ride in the Leadville Trail 100's mountain bike race in August 2007. Yes, that Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France. Leadville Trail 100 race director Ken Chlouber confirmed, after speaking with Armstrong's coach, that the race was on Armstrong's schedule.
He does one or two races per year, Chlouber said, adding: "This is huge for Leadville."Mark Higgins, Armstrong's manager, this week reiterated the information Chlouber had gotten from the cyclist's coach. "I can confirm that he will be participating in the Leadville Trail 100 (bike race)," Higgins said.Chlouber said he thought Armstrong's interest was particularly fitting. Armstrong is iconic for overcoming major obstacles, none greater than cancer, Chlouber said. That kind of grit is what Leadville and the Leadville Trail 100 are all about.
The 100-mile bike race, which is in its 13th year as a part of the 23-year-old Trail 100 series (which also includes a 50-mile bike race and three running races, including a 100-miler), traces a grueling path along the Sawatch Range.Even before Armstrong's announcement, the space in the mountain bike race was determined by lottery. The race has a capacity of around 750 riders, about 500 of whom generally finish the race.Though Armstrong is scheduled for the bike race, Chlouber said he expects the added publicity will boost interest in the foot races as well.
"It's a real opportunity to showcase Leadville to the world," the race director said.Renee Davis can be reached at (719) 486-3666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.