The goal for the Topeak-Ergon team at the 2015 Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike was clear from the start: Cover the 100-mile course in a record breaking time of less than 6 hours. They certainly had the fire power. Led by current marathon world champion Alban Lakata, the German-based squad also boasted Jeremiah Bishop and Kristian Hynek, both accomplished endurance specialists themselves.
Once underway, all went as planned. The Topeak-Ergon trio was joined by Christoph Sauser (Specialized) and Soren Nissen, who together blasted around the high-alpine 100-mile course. At the finish it was Lakata, taking the win and besting his old course record with a new race best of 5:58:35. Hynek was just seconds behind, with Sauser rounding out the top three, just a second ahead of Bishop. All four riders eclipsed the old course record.
It was also a record setting day on the women’s side, with Danish rider Annika Langvad (Specialized) becoming the first female to finish the race in under 7 hours, posting a time of 6:59:24, which was 18 minutes faster than the previous record held by Topeak-Ergon pro Sally Bigham, and quicker than the men’s winning time at the first 13 editions of this race that’s now been run 22 times. Bigham ended up second. Katerina Nash was third. You can view full race results here.
Sadly these amazing efforts were overshadowed by the tragic death of fellow competitor Scott Ellis, of Johnstown, Colorado, who died of a heart attack during the race. Our heartfelt condolences to Ellis’ family.
Here’s a look back at this year’s race starting with a videos featuring Leadville legend Dave Wiens and a post-race interview (in German with subtitles) with Lakata. All images courtesy Ergon Bike/RTI Sports.