Photo by Rob "UltraRob" Lucas
A Leadville 100 qualifying race is coming to Colorado this year, but the location and date has not been released. The plans call for three qualifiers in Colorado, California and the northeast in 2011. No word on when and where the Colorado race will be held. The current lottery system will remain, but there will be an undisclosed number of Leadville 100 entries awarded at the qualifying races.
The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) selected Medalist Sports to oversee the event management of the new Leadville Trail 100 Qualifier Series for 2011. Medalist, based in Atlanta, Georgia, already partners with AEG on the technical and operational production of the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race.
Medalist will assist AEG in the development and execution of the national Leadville Qualifying Series races, each of which will provide athletes the opportunity to earn guaranteed entry into the perennially sold-out Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Prior to this year, the only way to get into Leadville was to participate in and win a registration lottery.
First, I made a correction to the story. There will be one qualifier this year in Colorado, one in California and another in the northeast U.S. this year.
Looking ahead, Life Time plans to build an eight-race series of Leadville qualifying events by 2013. Those will all be huge races...I'm guessing some of the biggest in the country with excellent sponsorship support, lots of racers etc.
The series will serve to make Leadville even more prestigious. It's already huge, but it could become the No. 1 single-day cycling event in the U.S. - if it isn't already.
Thanks for the info about the numbers of qualifying spots at the races, Rob.