Leadville Trail 100 qualifying event, Wilmington/Whiteface 100k (WW100) is adding capacity and length this year, its second year running.
“This is a rugged course that’s going to be a challenge for everyone,” said Town of Wilmington supervisor Randy Preston.
Last year the race was shy of 100k at 57 miles long, but this year’s 69 miles will over-compensate for last year’s deficit. Race organizer Jim Goff said that surpassing 100k was not the actual motivation for the extra length, however. “What the added distance really did was involve one more community into the race,” he said. ” Elizabethtown is now a part of this event and they’re very excited about it. Also by bringing in Elizabethtown we also added and additional 2,000 feet of climbing.”
The out and back race will again begin and end at the ski resort that hosted the 1980 Olympic Winter Games alpine competitions, Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, N.Y.
In addition to riding both sides of the 2,500-foot Whiteface climb, racers ride both sides of Jay and Saddleback Mountains, each over 750-meter climbs.
“Sure the field will have to be strong of the course’s uphill sections, but there are plenty of flat rides, gravel and dirt roads and single track terrain to take advantage of as well,” said Preston.
“The cycling community has been hearing a lot about what this area has to offer in terms of cycling opportunities,” he added. ”I think that Wilmington, and the region in general, are quickly becoming a cycling destination and these riders want to know what the buzz is all about.”
As a Leadville Trail 100 qualifying event, this race is one of the five races where hopefuls can qualify for the 2012 race. Half of the qualifying slots will be awarded based on performance in each division, and the rest are based on a lottery of all finishers who finished within the cutoff time.
“The popularity of the LT 100 continues to grow year after year,” said Goff. “The LT100 is one of the most well-known bike races in the country and with that more and more cyclists want to participate, but there’s only so many that can qualify through the lottery. This race offers one last chance for the cyclists to get in.”