The man who beat Lance and Floyd on a mountain bike


Photo by Kevin Moloney for the New York Times.

The New York Times ran a fascinating article about Dave Wiens this week and how this relatively unknown (to those outside the sport anyway) rider was able to beat the 7-time Tour de France champion in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in August. From the first part of the article you get the idea that Dave Wiens is just a regular guy – taking the kids to school, doing volunteer work, and squeezing in a short mountain bike ride every now and then.

But it turns out that in a previous life (waay back in the 1980s) Dave Wiens was a professional mountain bike racer (and a pretty good one at that).  These days he only competes in a few races each year and even take the winters off from biking to enjoy skiing at home in the Colorado Rockies.

Fast forward to the Leadville Race, the mountain bike race where Lance Armstrong finally made his decision to get back into cycling and racing the Tour de France. Wiens and Armstrong had been riding together for most of the race trading point duties and with about 10 miles to go Wiens moved out of the way to let Armstrong ride ahead. Armstrong reportedly responded, “No. Go. I’m done.” Despite Wiens follow-up encouragement, Later Armstrong would later say that was the first time in his career that he had told another competitor that he was done during a race. Well played Mr. Wiens!

Now it seems every professional mountain biker is gunning for Dave Wiens, the man who not only beat Lance Armstrong but also former mountain biker Floyd Landis in last year’s Leadville 100. Armstrong seemed to imply that he’s interested in a Leadville rematch – could the Leadville 100 become the mountain bike version of the Tour de France? That would be rad.

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