LEADVILLE, Colorado, (Saturday, August 14, 2021) — The 2021 Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB race today welcomed a field of more than 1,500 riders ranging in age from 18 to 74 years old, representing 49 states and 12 countries. Cyclists tackled the famed 100-mile ‘Race Across the Sky’ through the Colorado Rockies as the course brought them through 13,000 feet of net elevation gain, topping out at 12,424 feet. Notably, 43 Leadville citizens proudly represented their hometown, for which the race series is well known and beloved, in the participant field.
In the women’s division, Rose Grant, 39, of Columbia Falls, Mont. placed first with a finish time of 7:23:57, defending her title as reigning first-place female from 2019. Moriah Wilson, 25, of Mill Valley, Calif. secured second place with a finish time of 7:27:32. Sarah Sturm, 32, of Durango, Colo. placed third in the division with a completion time of 7:30:56.
After commenting that she worried she had gone out too hard at the beginning of the event when approaching the infamous Columbine climb, Grant said, “My favorite part of the day, in a love-hate type of way, was the depth of field this year. The racing was completely different than two years ago; the women were mixing it up the entire time and kept the pressure on. It was super suspenseful as to who was going to be the strongest.”
For the men, Keegan Swenson, 27, of Heber City, Utah placed first with a finish time of 6:11:26. Lachlan Morton, 29, of Boulder, Colo. secured second place with a finish time of 6:19:22 while 2019’s first place male champion Howard Grotts, 28, of Missoula, Mont. placed third in the division with a completion time of 6:21:47.
When asked about his day on-course, Swenson noted, “I just tried to ride smooth, Lachlan is a heck of a rider and so is Howard. Columbine was my favorite part of the course – I loved the views and seeing everyone climbing up as I was descending because everyone was cheering for each other. I’m definitely coming back next year.”
Nearly 100 riders from today’s event will quickly depart Leadville for Colorado Springs to complete the second half of the LeadBoat Challenge, which is comprised of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB followed by the SBT GRVL Black event, making for a grand total of 250 miles of riding in two days.