Durango’s Todd Wells eyes repeat at 2017 Leadville 100 MTB this weekend | SummitDaily.com

Durango’s Todd Wells eyes repeat at 2017 Leadville 100 MTB this weekend

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

On Saturday, Aug. 12, nearly 2,000 racers will test their limits and push themselves beyond what they thought was possible at the iconic Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike (MTB) Race.

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is considered one of the world's most grueling ultra-races, according to a release from event organizers, where competitors "race across the sky" at elevations ranging from 10,152 to 12,424 feet through the Colorado Rockies' punishing terrain. Returning this year is 2016 defending champion and three-time Leadville 100 MTB winner Todd Wells, along with notable professional cyclists Ben Sonntag and Christopher Jones. In the women's division, Jennifer Smith, Tiffany Ballew Horn and Andrea Dvorak will all be vying for the podium.

Registration for this year's race is closed, but the event is free and open to spectators. Racing begins at 6:30 a.m. in downtown Leadville and ends around 6:30 p.m. when riders reach the 12-hour cutoff. Expect the first finishers to pass back through downtown between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., depending on conditions.

In addition to the professional field, a number of participants are racing to help others and raise awareness for organizations like First Descents, World Bicycle Relief, Challenged Athletes Foundation and more. Leadville's own Ty Hall is entered for his third year as Transamerica's "Go-Giver." What's this mean? It means his 100 miles of huffing and puffing and grinding above 10,000 feet will help raise money for the Leadville Legacy Foundation that supports the needs of the Leadville community. As the Go-Giver, Hall starts at the back of the race, the release continued, and will pass fellow rides to raise awareness and funds for the Leadville Legacy Foundation. This will be Hall's 16th Leadville Trail 100 MTB race. Last year, he raised $7,065.

"Year after year, the excitement and anticipation grows in Leadville as we welcome racers from across the country and around the world to our legendary 'race across the sky'," said Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville Race Series. "The sheer determination and commitment of these athletes, from the star-studded pro field to our first-time participants, is something we all can draw from as we lead our own healthy way of life journeys."

For more information or to follow the racing as it happens, see LeadvilleRaceSeries.com.

Watch the Leadville 100

Cheering from the sidelines? Here’s your guide for where to be and when to be there on Saturday, Aug. 12, for the Leadville 100 MTB race.

6:30 a.m. — All participants leave downtown Leadville for mass start

12:20-1:30 p.m. — Winners and top finishers are expected to cross the finish line in downtown Leadville

3:30 p.m. — 9-hour cut-off time for the gold and silver trophy buckle

6:30 p.m. — 12-hour final cut-off time for completion of the race and the silver buckle