LeadBoat I hear you say. Don’t you mean Leadville? It’s called the Leadville 100 after all.
Well yeah, you’re mostly right. On Saturday, Kona Adventure Team rider Cory Wallace took on the infamous Leadville 100 MTB race, on his Libre CR DL gravel bike. Then, less than 24 hours later, he lined up at the start of the Steamboat Gravel event 2.5 hours drive away.
That is the LeadBoat Challenge.
Cory was gunning for a podium finish at the Leadville 100 but the high-profile event has been attracting some massive names of late, from both the pro road side of things and the MTB side (remember when Lance Armstrong won it?). When the dust had settled Cory found himself in 11th place, just 60 seconds of 10th.
Steamboat was next up, and after putting it all on the line at Leadville on Saturday Cory didn’t have expectations of a podium finish. A quick tire swap before the race was the only change Cory made to the versatile Libre CR DL before heading out to race the 133 miles in the Colorado heat. After a last huge effort and some massive gains, he’d finish Sunday’s racing in 22nd place, securing a top 10 finish in the LeadBoat Challenge.
We can’t wait to see what Cory has up his sleeve next!
“After receiving entry confirmations just over a week ago I was on the fence about what to do. Would the mind and body be recovered from the recent 2x Everesting attempt and could I logistically put this trip together to be rested enough to do the doubleheader at Leadville 100 and Steamboat Gravel?
Rolling the dice I booked a last-minute ticket Calgary-Denver. tossed stuff in the van, grabbed a covid negative test at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canmore at 9:30 pm, slept in the van at Calgary Airport, woke up at 4 am, and hopped on a jet headed south.
It was a pretty loose plan at best but my friend Jim gave me a landing pad at his condo in Breckenridge which was the ticket to getting rested and piecing together the rest of the trip.
Leadville 100 was awesome. It was surprising no other gravel bikers were up near the front of the race as that course is pretty ideal for one, except the power line descent and the top of Columbine. Heading over Sugarloaf Mountain I lost a few seconds on the rocky road climb as it was tough to get the power down bouncing over the loose surface. Heading into the Powerline descent with Eddie Anderson I was hoping we could bridge back up to the leaders later on through the flats. Unfortunately, he descends insanely well for a road racer and I would soon find myself in no man’s land chasing behind a lead group of 11 riders. A full-suspension MTB is faster than a gravel bike down that rutted-out rocky downhill.
The rest of the race was spent in diesel mode, grabbing feeds from Tyler Andrews and Leland Turner and working with Ryan Petry. Sitting in 11th, the sights were set on a top ten but I ran out of real estate falling 28 seconds short of ninth. Next year top five!”
Cory’s Libre CR DL all ready for the LeadVille Challenge.
Frame: Kona Libre Carbon DL (52cm)
Fork: Fox RAD gravel suspension fork with 40 mm of travel for Leadville.
Drivetrain: Shimano Di2 GRX. Gearing is 31-48 up front with an XTR 11-40 in the rear.
Tires: Maxxis Aspen 2.25 on the front and a Rambler 50c with Cushcore in the rear for the LeadVille100, for Steamboat Gravel Cory swapped out the tires for Maxxis Velocity 40c slicks.
Seat: WTB Silverado.
Handlebar: Pro PLT Ergo Carbon 42 cm
Bar Tape: Lizard Skins 2.5mm Vegas gold.
Lube and Sealant: Squirt Lube