WIENS 2ND AT LEADVILLE 100, SAITO 18TH

“It was a great race, and I went as hard as I could go.  I worried at the beginning that I blew my legs so early, the pace was so high” Dave Wiens said the day after the Leadville 100 “after all the hype I am just glad that I crossed the line in second place”.

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For all the hype in the lead up to the race, for Dave Wiens it was an ordinary day today.  He isn’t a superstar, and following the Leadville 100 showdown against Lance Armstrong, he returned home to do the laundry, just as he did last year.

For Wiens what started as a way of just keeping himself in trim after retiring as a full time pro rider a couple of years ago, turned into something with a momentum of its own.  “For me, Leadville was always about going out there and riding for the hell of it.  Pulling out all of the stops just once in a year.  It is a race that has become something else.”  Speaking from his home in Colorado a day after the race, Dave, just a normal guy, spoke of his brush with a scene far removed from his own.  “You know, with Floyd [Landis] riding in 2007, and once Lance announced in 2007 that he planned to race in 2008, I thought to myself, ‘you know, this is pretty cool.  It will be two old retired guys against each other’” the six times winner, and this weekend’s second placed finisher said.  “Obviously this year he was back as a pro, and it was a very difficult race.  For me, perhaps the hardest days cycling ever.  Lance rode the way I thought he would.  He rode like a Tour de France winner.  It was a different guy to the man I rode with last year.”

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The now infamous race this last weekend has gone from a small cult event, to an international media circus in a very short time, thank to the participation of a certain Mr Armstrong.  Starting at the break of dawn it is a 100 mile ‘out and back’ race that is somewhat unique in the world of endurance cycling.  “It is the way it has always been, if you suggested that you had people coming down the same climb that people are climbing for a race now, people wouldn’t allow it.  That is part of the charm” Dave continued.  “The pace was really high, and the weather was very cold.  It was harder than it has ever been for me out there before.  Am I pleased?  Yes…. This year Lance is fresh from the Tour, last year he was fresh from the couch!”

Team Topeak Ergon US was also represented by Yuki Saito, who finished 18th.  All in all, not a bad days riding for the green and blacks.

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We will have to watch this space to see if Dave returns next year.  In his own words “Will I ride is again…. Probably.  Will it be next year? ….. Ask me in six months!”

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