Double Victory at the Leadville 100

Sally Bigham and Alban Lakata seal the double win at Colorado′s Leadville 100 Trail Race. The two racers also both set new course records for the 100 mile distance at the legendary and hardest Mountain Bike Race in the USA.

It is an amazing story of success for Team Topeak Ergon. Both Sally Bigham and Alban Lakata ride to victory at the Leadville 100 mile race, both setting the course record. The legendary Leadville Trial 100 is not only well known amongst the mountain biking community, but also many professional road riders step up to the challenge. At 160km (100 miles) there is 3000m of climbing to take on. It is a race which our marathon specialists, Alban Lakata, and Sally Bigham look forward to. Last year, Lakata′s victory made him the first non-American to win the event, while in the women′s race a mistake in the marking of the route of the race prevented Sally Bigham being able to try at the record, and she had to settle for second place. It was therefore fair to say that the two riders had a bit of a score to settle.

Before the race, Lakata was very clear speaking to that he was after the course record. “It was what I came here for“, an exhausted Lakata said, following the race, as the commentator asked him for his thoughts just after crossing the line. A little over a minute later, came Marathon World Champion Christoph Sauser (at 1:07m) over the line, while third placed Todd Wells was 14 minutes back. Alban?s winning time was 6hr 4m 0.79 seconds.

For Sally Bigham it was a joyous occasion. Last year the English Champion came second, while this year the top spot was hers. With a total time of 7hr 17m 1.86s she secured the top step of the podium, with a solid 4:56 min over second placed Alison Powers, and 18:26 min over Rebecca Rush. She also rode into the record books, with a course record for the women. “I'm very happy with the result: mission accomplished” said the current british champion. Sally added: “After the disappointment of last year, the victory and the record is particularly sweet!”

Racing for the US side Team Topeak Ergon, Yuki Ikeda was also competing, and rode a great race finishing 20th. An extremely good result, at a race such as this.

For Topeak Ergon, there will be a short celebration, and then the Europeans will be homeward bound. The focus now moves to the last races of the season. The Gran Raid in Switzerland, the Birkebeiner Marathon in Norway and then finally the Roc d′Azur on the Cote d′Azur in France. So far, the season has been great for the team, so a little of the pressure is off. The riders wont let up though, so much is almost certain.

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Lothar Schiffner
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