Durango rider wins Leadville 100; Lance sits out
He finished the race in 6 hours, 23 minutes, 38 seconds — the second-fastest time ever recorded in the event's 18-year-old history.
Wells, the U.S. national cross country champion, placed third last year behind Levi Leipheimer and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski.
Leipheimer, who set the record time in Leadville last year, and Horga-Kobelski did not compete in the high-altitude endurance test this year.
Part-time Aspen resident Lance Armstrong also did not race.
Armstrong, who won the Leadville Trail 100 in 2009, qualified for the race after winning the Crested Butte Alpine Odyssey last month.
The Leadville 100 starts in the town of the same name, at about 10,200 feet in elevation, then traverses to the 12,550-foot Columbine Mine above Twin Lakes. The course then changes direction back to Leadville.
In the women's division, Rebecca Rusch of Ketchum, Idaho, crossed the finish line first with a time of 7 hours, 31 minutes and 46 seconds.
Several Aspen area residents competed too.
Max Taam of Snowmass Village had the best local time (7:30:12), placing 39th overall. Jason Anderson of Aspen finished 88th overall. Anne Gonzalez of Aspen placed 92nd overall and was the top finisher in the women's 50 to 59 age group. Locals in the top 400 overall include Steve Marolt of Aspen who finished 94th. Chris Klug of Aspen placed 106th. Sari Anderson of Carbondale finished 116th. Thomas Hughes of Aspen came in 183rd. Mike Gettinger of Glenwood Springs finished 236th. Jon Gibans of Aspen placed 339th. Mike Maple of Aspen finished 344th. Tiziano Gortan of Aspen finished 346th. Ian Metcalf of Aspen placed 354th. Phil Sirianni of Snowmass Village finished 376th.
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