The Stages Cycling Leadville Stage Race takes the course of the historic Leadville Trail 100 MTB and spreads it over three exciting days. Riders get the chance to win daily prizes and maybe even wear the leader’s jersey on days two and three.
The 100-mile out-and-back course is split into three stages amid the Colorado Rockies. The low point of 9,200 feet is located at the Twin Lakes dam. The high point is Columbine Mine, at 12,513 feet. The majority of the course is on mountain two-track fire roads. A sub-11-hour finish time is required to be considered an official Stage Race Finisher.
Stage 1 is 40 miles with 4,812′ feet of gain. Stage two is the easier hump-day race, with 22 miles of distance and 4,107′ feet of elevation gain. Stage 3, the finishing day, is lengthened at 41 miles with a grueling 4,888 feet of elevation gain. Important to note is how much harder this race is due to the altitude. The highest points on the three days ranges are above 11,000′, and day two caps out at above 12,000 feet, so if you are coming from sea level, please make sure you get to Leadville at least four days early to get your red blood cell counts up.
This event is a Leadville 100 qualifier! The Leadville 100 MTB is a notoriously grueling and the most famous endurance mountain bike race in the world. To ride in it, you have to qualify, and this stage event is one of the Leadville Race Series events. Finish the stage race in a certain amount of time, and you will qualify for the Leadville 100. But no worries if you just want to race the stage independently. The Leadville Race Series includes some of the best MTB events in the country, including:
- Wilmington Whiteface
- Lutsen 99er
- Silver Rush 50 MTB
- Leadville Stage Race
- Barn Burner
- Austin Rattler
- Leadville 100
Lifetime Events organize the Leadville Stage race and the rest of the Leadville Race Series. Life Time is one of the top race organizers in the country and owns and operates race epics, including Unbound Gravel (formerly Dirty Kanza), Sea Otter Classic, Big Sugar, and Crusher in the Tushar.
Being a Life Time event, you can expect a well-organized event logistically from solid aid stations (tons of cookies) and well-marked courses. The Stages Cycling Leadville Stage Race walks the line of many famous trails from the Leadville 100 and attracts some of the fastest riders in the country. A unique event by all means and one that the Strambecco editors highly recommend.