By Fred Dreier
Just days since announcing his plans to return to the European road peloton, Lance Armstrong will compete in the inaugural 12 Hours of Snowmass cross-country mountain bike race on Sunday, September 14.
Nat Ross, race director for the event, confirmed Armstrong’s participation, saying the seven-time Tour winner will race as part of a three-man team at the event.
The event benefits the Aspen Youth Center and Extreme Sports Camps charities. Ross said Armstrong’s participation will hopefully generate enough interest to make the first-year event a regular occurrence.
“To have [Armstrong] at the inaugural event — we couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Ross, one of the top solo 24-hour races in the world. “Personally, I would really like to see the 12-hour format take off. The 24-hour hour races can be too long and grueling.”
The race features competition in solo, two- and three-person teams, and will be held on a 7.8-mile loop around Snowmass Mountain. The course includes many of the same trails used by the Mountain State’s Cup and National Mountain Bike Series.
Armstrong is no stranger to endurance mountain biking, and on August 9 placed a close second to Dave Wiens at the Leadville Trail 100 in Leadville, Colorado. The former Tour champ crossed the line just two minutes down on Wiens, the six-time winner of the Leadville race and a former World Cup-level cross-country racer.