As a wrap up to this endurance length Leadville discussion, I would like to point out a couple of links to stories about the winners. I was particularly gratified to see Levi Leipheimer's and some other comments about the race, which included statements like the following:
"That was ridiculous," said Leipheimer after the race. "I don't know if I've ever suffered that much before. . . But I guess that the distance and the fitness from The Tour was enough," he continued, adding, "Although we don't go this hard in the Tour."
"This is ridiculously hard," Leipheimer. "It's hard to describe the pain and torture that you go through on a ride like that," Leipheimer said. "It's not what I'm used to. It's like a six-hour time trial. There's no sitting in. There's no draft. ... I just couldn't wait for it to be over."
"I felt pretty good until we hit the Powerline climb," added JHK (2nd place finisher Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski). "I really turned myself inside out on that climb thinking I might be able to catch back up on the descent. But it was pure suffering from that point on."
From Rebecca Rush - female winner - "I can barely stand up. It was one of my most painful days on a bike."
And this comment from Levi, which sums it up: Post-race he said he may not have “respected” the difficulty of the race enough. “I’ve been doing the road thing for so many years I wanted to do something different,” he said. “Today I felt like everyone else out there; excited, nervous — going on an epic adventure. It was everything and more that I’d expected and dreamed of.”
Cycling News preview of the race: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mountain-bike-titans-to-battle-at-leadville-100-this-weekend
Cycling News coverage after the race: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/leadville-100-ne-1/results
Story about Leipheimer's bike (a 26" dual suspension, but the only one in the lead group): http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/pro-bike-levi-leipheimers-trek-top-fuel-prototype
A whole ton of Leadville coverage, including a bunch of training diary entries from Dave Weins from Singletrack (sister site of VeloNews): http://singletrack.competitor.com/
Singletrack race coverage (sister site of VeloNews): http://singletrack.competitor.com/2010/08/news/levi-leipheimer-wins-but-suffers-at-leadville_9777
ESPN story: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=5463890
A very cool site that matches video with a moving marker on a google satellite map and shows someones first 3 hours of Leadville 2009: http://www.qudup.com/experience/explore/#view?id=35