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Leadville 100 Qualifying Races Named

LEADVILLE, Colo. (March 29, 2011) – Life Time Fitness, Inc, and AEG today announced the Leadville Qualifying Series (LQS) for the 2011 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race (LT100). A rider’s performance at these races could guarantee a spot at the same start line where legendary cyclists, such as Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Rebecca Rusch, Tinker Juarez and Dave Wiens, have once started.

Each race will provide 100 qualifying spots to the LT100, the best known and most prestigious mountain bike race in North America.  The spots will be allocated partially on the basis of age-group performance and partly by lottery among finishers. In addition, LQS showcases some of the best places to ride in America: from the Adirondacks, to the Sierra Nevadas, to the Rocky Mountains.  Registration for these qualifying races goes on sale Thursday, March 31.

“We are delighted to be able to have three great races in three of the best mountain biking locations in the country,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.  “In addition to the opportunity to qualify for the Leadville Trail 100, these races will be superb opportunities to celebrate the sport of mountain biking.”

“These Qualifiers have been carefully selected as each contain many of the characteristics of the Leadville course, including overall challenge and climbing,” said Kenneth Cooper, vice president of Endurance and Athletic Events for Life Time.

The Leadville Qualifying Series races are:

•June 19: Wilmington/Whiteface 100K, Wilmington, NY.
•July 10:  Lake Tahoe Trail 100K, Lake Tahoe, NV.
•July 31: Crested Butte Alpine Odyssey, Mt Crested Butte, CO.

All  races will be approximately 100 kilometers and have been vetted by LQS Technical Director Dave Wiens, a six-time LT 100 champion and member of the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame. The events are fully supported with aid stations and mechanical support, and are chip-timed.

Wilmington/Whiteface 100K, Wilmington, NY.  The Adirondack Mountains will provide the backdrop for the first qualifier race and feature the terrain of Whiteface Mountain, home of the alpine events during the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

“The Town of Wilmington is very excited to be hosting the Wilmington/Whiteface 100K Mountain Bike Race,” said Randy Preston, Town of Wilmington Supervisor.  “As a national caliber event, it will bring the best of the best from the competitive mountain bike set to the Northeast.  We are anxious to show the world what mountain biking in the Adirondacks is all about.”

Wilmington, New York, nestled in the valley of the West Branch of the Ausable River, is home to Whiteface Mountain.  The summit of Whiteface, with its unparalleled view, is accessible during the summer by the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway.  This location in the Adirondack Mountains offers rugged wilderness beauty with access to hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer and cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snowmobile trails in the winter.

Lake Tahoe Trail 100K, Lake Tahoe, NV.  The second LQS race will traverse the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, past vistas overlooking Lake Tahoe, one of the biggest and cleanest alpine lakes in the world.  The race will be hosted by the Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort, one of the west’s pre-eminent mountain biking venues.

“We are excited to partner with AEG in the inaugural year of the Qualifying Series for the legendary Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race,” said Andy Buckley, Director of Resort Services at Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort.  “North Lake Tahoe with its endless mountain bike trails and vistas of Lake Tahoe, is the ideal venue for a competitive mountain bike race that will ultimately grant 100 finishers the opportunity to participate in the Leadville Trail 100.”

One of the finest year-round mountain resorts in North America, Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort is host to a base area village featuring 35 unique shops and restaurants, a conference center, 9,000-square foot skating rink, on-site lodging, special events and more.  Summer activities include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, fly-fishing and more.  The resort is just minutes from breathtaking Lake Tahoe. Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort boasts more than 100 miles of trails for mountain biking.
Crested Butte Alpine Odyssey, Mt Crested Butte, CO.  The final race in the LQS, the “last hard ride before Leadville,” will be a challenging route though some of the most beautiful terrain in Colorado at the height of wildflower season.  Crested Butte Mountain Resort will showcase their legendary trail system and extensive network of winding single-track, named among best rides in North America in 2009 by Bike magazine.

“This is an incredible match to have Mt. Crested Butte host the final qualifier for the Leadville 100, one of the iconic events in mountain biking,” said Ken Stone, chief operating officer, Crested Butte Mountain Resort.  “The mountain course starting at 9,400 feet above sea level will provide a test of fitness and skill of riders that equals the demands of the Leadville 100.  Our entire community will be on hand to support this event and welcome the participants and fans.”

Life Time Fitness is committed to preserving the unique character of the Leadville races and providing opportunities for athletes to have the exceptional experience of racing the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race.

About the Leadville Qualifying Series (www.leadvillequalifiers.com)

The Leadville Qualifying Series is collaboration between Life Time Fitness and AEG, organizations with strong ties to health and fitness, cycling and the outdoors.  Life Time Fitness owns and operates the Leadville Race Series, Chicago Triathlon along with a myriad of other endurance events, and is the title sponsor of the Life Time Triathlon series, the country’s leading Olympic distance triathlon series which awards the coveted Toyota Cup.  AEG owns and operates, among its many properties, the Amgen Tour of California, L’Etape du California and the Zazzle Bay to Breakers foot race.

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