In an unparalleled showcase of stamina and skill, the 2023 Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, organized and presented by Life Time, was nothing short of historic. Defending champion Keegan Swenson not only retained his title but obliterated the previous course record by a staggering 15 minutes and four seconds, setting a new benchmark of 5:43:31 for the renowned ‘Race Across the Sky’.
Sofia Gomez Villafane didn’t merely clinch the top spot for the women’s event. She showcased a nail-biting performance, leading for most of the race and fending off close competition from the likes of second-place finisher Ruth Winder and third-place contender Alexis Skarda.
The picturesque town of Leadville hosted a whopping 1,750 riders this Saturday. They embarked on a challenging 105-mile journey with an elevation gain of 12,000 feet. A testament to their tenacity was the brutal climb of the Columbine Pass, perched 12,500 feet above sea level. A rich representation of riders from across the globe was evident, with participants hailing from all 50 states and 25 distinct nations. Leadville’s pride was evident with 59 local riders, and 70 Lead Challenge athletes, making their presence felt.
Swenson reminisced about his unparalleled performance, “Last year, I just missed the record. This time around, I was determined to not just break it but own it.” He emphasized the favorable conditions, with a course that was “fast and tacky,” adding that despite a bit of wind and rain, the camaraderie among the riders was palpable.
Swenson’s commanding lead became evident a third of the way up Columbine, with a solo finish a jaw-dropping 21 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
Women’s Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race Results:
- Sofia Gomez Villafane, Heber City, Utah, 7:09:48
- Ruth Winder, Nederland, Colo., 7:11:12
- Alexis Skarda, Grand Junction, Colo., 7:19:03
Men’s Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race Results:
- Keegan Swenson, Heber City, Utah, 5:43:31
- Alexey Vermeulen, Pinckney, Mich., 6:08:01
- John Gaston, Aspen, Colo., 6:08:05
For a comprehensive look at the race results, visit Athlinks and explore the Leadville Race Series and Life Time Grand Prix’s respective Instagram and Twitter pages to relive the day’s electrifying moments.
Tamira Jenlink, the Race Director, was brimming with pride, noting the significant record-breaking performances across the board. She praised the spirit of each rider, stating, “From the winner to the very last finisher, everyone embodied the essence of Leadville Strong.”
The calendar for Life Time’s upcoming off-road athletic events is packed. Following Leadville, enthusiasts can look forward to the Life Time Chequamegon MTB Festival, Life Time The Rad Dirt Fest, and many more leading up to November.
Marking its 40th year, the iconic Leadville Trail 100 Run, sponsored by La Sportiva, is slated for Aug. 19-20, a nod to its origins in 1983. An impressive roster of 90 Foundation Athletes is set to participate in these two 100-mile races, raising funds for the Life Time Foundation. All contributions are channeled towards a fund that endorses grants and programs both on a national scale and locally in Leadville.