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Retired racer Steve Larsen dies after collapsing during running workout

  • By Steve Frothingham
  • Published May. 20, 2009
  • Updated May. 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM EDT

By Steve Frothingham

Larsen winning the 2001 Lake Placid Ironman

Photo: Cameron Elford

Steve Larsen, probably the only professional who competed and won major races as a mountain biker, road biker and triathlete, died Tuesday evening after collapsing during a running workout.

Larsen was 39 and he and his wife Carrie Larsen have five children.

“He was doing a track workout and he collapsed. They did CPR immediately and an ambulance arrived quickly, but they weren’t able to save him,” his friend Michael Nyberg told VeloNews

Another friend of the family confirmed Larsen’s death, saying that an autopsy is pending, but that he apparently suffered a heart attack.

Larsen began racing in the 1980s and was on the Motorola team for three years in the early 1990s, racing the Giro d’Italia and other major European events. He then moved into mountain biking, winning the NORBA National Cross-Country title in 1997 and 2000.

In 2001, he switched to triathlon, qualifying for the Ironman in his first year in the sport, and finishing ninth at the Hawaii event. He also competed in XTerra offroad triathlons. He was reportedly the only American to compete in the world championships for road, mountain bike, track, cyclocross and triathlon. He was a member of the 1993 U.S. world road championship team that helped Lance Armstrong win his first world title.

Larsen at the 2003 Tour de Georgia

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Larsen grew up near Davis, California. For several years he operated a bike and triathlon shop there, called Steve Larsen’s Wheelworks. He retired from professional racing in 2003 and opened a real estate agency in Bend, Oregon.

He still competed in triathlons for fun, finishing 70th at the 2008 Ironman World Championships with a time of 9:19:25.

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