Seemingly few people who participate in any organized cycling event in the continental United States remain unaware of the race made famous from a certain ProTour rider’s experience, chronicled in the 2009 film “Race Across the Sky.” The Leadville Trail 100, a 100 mile mountain bike race held in the high mountains of Colorado, annually tests the grit and mettle of more than a thousand brave souls who take to the start. This year, Performance Bicycle Racing Team elite rider Cara Applegate will tackle the race on August 14, but in a slightly unusual fashion – on a tandem mountain bike with her husband, Andy Applegate.
While the couple has been racing tandem bikes on the road for more than seven years – and share four elite national time trial titles and three masters road race and time trial titles – they have been riding the mountain bike tandem for a relatively short period of time, slightly more than a year and a half.
“We’ve both been racing bikes for a good long while – Andy 25 years and me 14 or so – and every year we seem to tweak our goals to include a new experience that will challenge our collective fortitude. A 100 mile off road endurance race in the high mountains seems to fit that bill,” explained Cara, a subtle smile of determination on her face.
The Applegates are not approaching this race unprepared however; they’ve spent the majority of their 2010 racing days at endurance mountain bike events, either on single bikes or the tandem. You can expect to see the Applegates at the front of the tandem pack come race day. Check back here for more details after the race.