Tokyo Olympic Track Champ Races 100 mile MTB 
Gold and bronze to the silver mining town of Leadville
BOISE, ID - Aug 19, 2021 - What to do post Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics?
Most folks that follow cycling know that TWENTY24 athlete Jennifer Valente (USA) reached her goal of an Olympic individual gold medal, she also scored a bronze medal in Tokyo with the U.S team pursuit team, but what next? It might surprise you a little!

Tokyo athletes Jasmin Duehring (CAN) and Valente both when asked separately by team manager Nicola Cranmer "What would you like to do post Tokyo?" Both responded with Leadville 100 mountain bike race of course! Cranmer while surprised was thrilled, hailing from a mountain biking background and a deep passion for the off-road events, without hesitation set to work on the plans to head to Colorado. More on Jasmin in our next newsletter and her accomplishments at the LeadBoat Challenge.

What is Leadville 100 MTB?
Over one hundred miles across the high-altitude, extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies, this event was created for only the most determined athletes. Starting at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet, you’ll be challenged to catch your breath — while the views try to take it away. The total elevation gain for the event is in the 12,000ft range. The town of Leadville, a former silver mining town is situated among the headwaters of the Arkansas River, the Leadville Historic District contains many historic structures and sites in its dynamic mining era. ... Leadville is notable for having many 14,000 foot peaks viewable from town. Leadville 100 is a Life Time Inc. operated event.

Why Leadville 100 MTB?
Both these women have been training for track racing and 4k-20k events but this 168k did not deter them! The why is fascinating and likely resinated with lots of Olympians.

Photo: Jennifer Valente after winning the Tokyo Omnium Gold. Getty Images

“ I was very aware of the time after the Olympics and how it was going to feel, regardless of any results. There is an emptiness that follows such a laborious and formidable goal once it passes. I was coming up with ways to minimize a sudden drop in structure and purpose and thinking that other types of cycling could be a part of it. I’d always thought that racing Leadville 100 would be a pretty cool experience and a hard challenge but the timing, training, and schedule required for track racing and the Olympics made jumping into something so different not feasible or realistic. The idea started to float around a little more this year as something after Tokyo and the more I looked into it and read stories of people riding, the more I wanted to do it." Said Valente 

Valente joined the team back at the end of 2011 when she was a teenager and has raced road and track for the program for almost a decade, she is very accomplished on the track with multiple world championship titles and 3 Olympic medal, but now mountain biking?

"I think a lot of what Leadville is about is being happy with yourself and trying to accomplish something that you’re unsure of and something that's going to push you. The idea behind bringing people to Leadville for much different reasons than why they might travel to a road stage race or crit, that resonated with me. It filled the gap of what I was looking for in the uncertainty following a massive build into the Olympics Games. Riding and challenging myself in an environment that was about more than a result or an outcome. The timing for me still presented an obstacle, as it’ll be less than a week between lining up at the omnium start line in Tokyo and the 104-mile start line high in the Colorado mountains. But I’m excited to be in Leadville at a bike race again but without a cloud of pressure attached to it. I want to feel the community and have fun! “

Race day began early with Nicola making pancakes and eggs. The race start was fast and furious and downhill! Fortunately both riders started in the gold corral and each corral had a 2 minute start gap. We were able to track both riders on Athlinks and they were off to a great start. Jennifer stopped at the feed zones for vest swaps and nutrition intake. She had an amazing upbeat attitude as she made her way through the extremely challenging course and conditions. There was a huge roar from the crowd as she crossed the finish line when the announcer mentioned that she had just won two Olympic medals the week before! Mission accomplished, she had completed her first Leadville 100 mountain bike race but was it her last?
"Overall Leadville was brutal. It was challenging to keep riding for so many hours. The mental side of racing/riding for so long is something I've never done before and didn't know what it would feel like. But finishing the course and making it through was thrilling. I'm so thankful for the support I had and for the Leadville community for creating such a fun and engaging event!" Said Valente.

A huge thank you to LifeTime Fitness and Leadville 100 MTB. Thanks to USAC Steve McCauley and Leslie and a massive thank you to Kris and Reka our hosts and new friends in Leadville, we could not have managed this without you!
Gratitude to our 2024 Partners
Zwift, FELT Bicycles, Zipp, SRAM, Quarq, Bonds Family Foundation, Violich Farms, Wild Health, Domestique Foundation, Pro Cyclist Foundation, Le Col, Kenda Tire, Oakley, Speedplay, Limar helmets, PACE Ranch, Wahoo, Mikes Bikes, Velo Saddles, Training Peaks, Arundel Cages, Camelbak, KX3 Sports. AMP Human, DZ Nuts, Clif Bar, Hyperice, Park Tool, Seasucker Racks, Sock Guy, Karen Malkin Health, NormaTec, USA Cycling Foundation, Victory Circle Graphix, Bauer Haus, KX3 Lifestyle and Coaching, The HEMI Gravel Race, Barbara Kreisle Photography.
About TWENTY24 Pro Cycling
When the team was formed in 2005, the goal was to create a pathway for athletes to the 2012 London Olympics. In 2009 the team name became TWENTY12 changing every 4 year cycle, followed by TWENTY16, TWENTY20 and now TWENTY24 representing the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The TWENTY24 program is responsible for developing many of the most successful American female cyclists to date. Creating opportunities for elite, junior development and para-cycling athletes. TWENTY24 has established a consistent athlete talent pipeline for road and track cyclists and additionally providing opportunities for athletes who excel in the virtual world of Zwift eSports and the new dynamic discipline of gravel racing. 

What We Do
Develop high-performance athletes and the next generation of competitive cyclists. Success in aligning student-athletes with college scholarships through cycling. Support of the multi-discipline athlete. Adaptive, dynamic, versatile, resilient and committed to growing diversity in the landscape of women’s cycling.