Riders to watch
The increasing popularity of the Leadville 100 has started to draw a strong contingent of professional and former professional riders. With a brutally hard 100-mile course, any number of riders could come out on top.
Gerry Cody (Los Angeles, CA) – Finishing 10th in the 2011 edition of the Leadville 100, Cody has finished many brutal races, including La Ruta de los Conquistadores.
Nate English (Berkeley, CA) – As a road racer for Kenda/5-Hour Energy, English cracked the top 20 in 2011 and has the motor to go faster.
Alex Grant (Salt Lake City, UT) – A multiple time top 10 finisher in Leadville, Grants is no stranger to the front of the race with his best finish being third in 2011.
Alex Hagman (Fort Collins, CO) – A former mountain bike collegiate national champion, Hagman has spent 2012 on the road racing for Jelly Belly Pro Cycling P/B Kenda.
Jay Henry (Avon, CO) – Another multiple-time top-10 finisher of Leadville, Henry has countless endurance wins to his name, including the 2012 Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge.
Yuki Ikeda (Tokyo, Japan) – Specializing in 50-mile races, the distance of Leadville has proven a challenge but Ikeda improves yearly and 2012 may be his year to shine.
Greg Krause (Littleton, CO) – Finishing 7th in the 2011 edition, Krause finished just seconds behind Lance Armstrong in the 2011 Alpine Odyssey, another high-altitude endurance race in Crested Butte, CO.
Brian Laiho (Boulder, CO) – A former mountain bike pro, Laiho has over 12 years of racing experience under his belt.
Alban Lakata (Leinz, Austria) – Hailing from Lienz, Austria and racing for Team Topeak Ergon, Lakata is hoping to improve on his second-place finish in 2011.
Justin Lindine (New Salem, NY) – An east coast ‘cross racer, Lindine was part of the top American team in the Absa Cape Epic showing that he is a capable endurance racer as well.
Vincent Lombardi (Los Angeles, CA) – A top-20 Leadville finisher in 2011, Lombardi is back for another crack.
Bryson Perry (Sandy, UT) – Two-time winner of Leadville in 2001 and 2002, Perry is back to race again in 2012.
Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) – Coming from the cross-country world where he was the 2008 world champion and UCI World Cup winner in 2004 and 2005, Sauser will surely be at the front of the race.
Kimo Seymour –(Tempe, AZ) – A finisher of multiple Ironman events, Seymour has shifted towards ultra endurance mountain bike racing to put his endurance to use.
Trapper Steinle (Scottsdale, AZ) – Multiple-time Leadville finisher, Steinle has finished as high as 23 in past races.
Russell Stevenson (Seattle, WA) – An avid east coast ‘cross racer and coach, Stevenson is back to improve upon his 2011 result at Leadville.
Stig Somme (Denver, CO) – Finishing in the top 10 in the 2010 and 2011 editions of Leadville, the Norwegian is back to challenge for the top of the leaderboard in 2012.
Mike Sutter (Boulder, CO) – Multiple time Leadville finisher, Sutter spends the majority of his time racing on the road for the Boulder Orthopedics team.
Scott Tietzel (Boulder, CO) – A pro both on the road and on the mountain bike, Tietzel is back to improve upon his 11th place finish in Leadville in 2011.
Will White (Scottsdale, AZ) – A 2011 Leadville finisher, White excels in many forms of racing from cross-country, to marathon distance, to road.
Nate Whitman (Los Angeles, CA) – With two top-20 finishes in the 2010 and 2011 editions of Leadville, Whitman could stay near the front of the race in 2012.
Anne Gonzales – A multiple time finisher of the Leadville 100, Gonzales has a masters cross-country national title from 2011 and finished 4th at the Steamboat Springs Honey Stinger 50.
Tammy Jacques-Grewalt – A former pro mountain biker forced into retirement in 1999, Jacques-Grewalt staged an impressive comeback in 2010 after an extended illness to finish 15th at elite cross-country nationals.
Pua Mata – Mata has an impressive resume with several national titles to her name, in addition to wins in other high-profile races such as the Whiskey 50. A Leadville victory has eluded her so far.
Grechen Reeves – In 2011, Reeves finished less than 4 minutes behind Rusch in 2011. A multiple time winner of the Firecracker 50, Reeves can never be counted out.
Rebecca Rusch – Three-time defending Leadville champion, Rusch is the odds on favorite to win the women’s race. A multiple time 24-hour Solo and XC singlespeed national champion, Rusch can do it all.
Jennifer Smith – After finishing 4th in 2011 during her first Leadville, Smith hopes to challenge for the top spot in 2012.
Jamie Whitmore – An Xterra athlete by trade, Whitmore has a national title and a second place at Xterra world championships to her name.
FILED UNDER: Endurance / Leadville Qualifying Series / MTB / News TAGS: Alban Lakata / Bryson Perry / Christoph Sauser / Gretchen Reeves / Leadville Trail 100 / LQS / LT100 / Nate Whitman / Pua Mata / Rebecca Rusch