It’s been said that Leadville 100 MTB is for only the most determined athletes. We couldn’t agree more! Each year, we’re proud to have not only some of the most determined athletes on our WBR team, but also some of the most dedicated to making an impact for students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs around the world.
Meet this year’s team and show your support on their fundraising pages!
Laurens ten Dam
This will not only be the first time at Leadville for pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam, it will be his first mountain bike race ever! Although he wonders if a mountain bike race will be totally different from a road race, he knows for certain how his world got bigger the moment he got his first bike. He wants those who receive a bike from WBR to experience that same feeling. Laurens love to train in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. And like so many who train hard every day, Laurens knows that balance is everything. Live slow, ride fast.
Ted King, this year’s WBR team leader, is making his first appearance at Leadville. A long-time partner and supporter of WBR, Ted has never been able to race Leadville because he was racing professionally on the road. After racing in Europe for the past decade, Ted can’t wait to have fun and race mountain bikes! He feels there’s no better partnership than WBR. I retired at the end of the 2015 season and now support the much larger facet of cyclists in general rather than purely the bike racing side of things. I think bikes will save the world if we just give it enough patience.
Professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski is returning to his cycling roots with his first trip to Leadville. Joe, who began racing mountain bikes at a young age, is looking forward to the challenge that’s ahead of him. This is the first time, in a long time, that I’ve had to think about equipment selection, nutrition, tactics etc. in a different way. It’s refreshing and something fun for me! As a pro cyclist, Joe knows he has a unique platform to promote World Bicycle Relief’s mission to make positive changes in the world by providing bikes to students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs. I’m excited to be making the Leadville 100 a part of my schedule this year, and proud to be doing it representing World Bicycle Relief. I hope my fans are excited to follow us along on this and to get involved, too!
We’re thrilled to have you on the team. Good luck, Joe!
In August, Katie Bolling will undertake the often-grueling course in Leadville for the second time. Katie, who trains in Ken Caryl, CO, draws a strong parallel between the challenges faced by students who face distance barriers to education and the race that’s ahead of her. It’s a tough, uphill battle, but one that’s worth the views. She most looks forward to sharing the weekend with other WBR enthusiasts and believes that journeys are best when shared with others. Katie’s first trip to Leadville was in 2014, and she’s back this year with a higher goal for herself. Vision without action is only a dream.
Brett Levitt is making his first trip to Leadville, and he’s more scared than excited at least for now! Undertaking such an epic event is thrilling for Brett, who trains in Greenville, SC. Brett, a 2015 WBR Ambassador, is passionate about the opportunities that a bike provides to students, particularly girls who are often the first to leave school because of distance barriers. Providing better access to education is what I like best about WBR. He loves both cyclocross and distance cycling. We think both of those are going to come in handy this August!
Timmy Duggan may be about to embark on his freshman Leadville appearance, but he is certainly no stranger to competition. The retired pro cyclist is fulfilling a personal challenge to do at least one marathon mountain bike race, and he’s chosen one of the best! He most looks forward to feeling the excitement of a race again after being out of the World Tour circuit for a couple years. The chance to do the biggest race, with a crew of awesome people, and in the name of a cause I believe in was a no-brainer. How will his favorite training spot of Girona, Spain, compare to Leadville? We’ll be sure to ask him!
This is Kate Ginsbach’s third trip to Leadville, and she’s inspired to ride for WBR while seeking her personal best. Kate, who just completed my first year of law school, relies on her bike and car to get around. She often thinks how hard it would be to get to school every day if she didn’t have access to reliable transportation. Recognizing how much a bike has impacted her life, she’s excited to be part of the WBR team so she helps knock down barriers to education for so many students. After training for the past four years in Boulder, Kate will be spending the summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota, exploring new trails and routes.
I think sometimes I can get too wrapped up in the races or the training and being part of WBR reminds me that I’m working for so much more.
Leadville seems to be the perfect race for Ryan Vanderloop, who loves training on hills and doing big miles. This will be his second trip to Colorado for the two-day race. For Ryan, it’s always GO time! He’s savoring life, working and training hard, but loving every minute. And what’s he most looking forward to at Leadville? The finish line, of course! But he’s not all about the training. Bicycling is a passion in my life and seeing the way it can change and help people is amazing. What WBR does is special to me.
Chuck Leach has set a goal for his second trip to Leadville: he wants to better his 2013 time by finishing this year in under eight hours. Like other athletes who will be competing, Chuck finds that training is hard work and takes a tremendous commitment in order to just survive the race. But he gets a lot from his bicycle, both mentally and physically, and is passionate about helping to extend these things to people all over the world. Chuck is hoping to be inspired by WBR during the race, too. This year I intend on Û÷racing’ it more than the death march I was on in 2013, inspired by the World Bicycle Relief cause to perform better than the last time around!
First-time Leadville racer Sharon Shachar can soon check an item off her bucket list. Sharon believes that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and always aims to live life by doing epic things. Leadville certainly fits the bill! Riding for WBR is a way for Sharon to connect her passion to helping people. WBR also does that through the power of the bicycle.
David Houston is making his second trip to Leadville, and he’s most excited to again see people he knows and admires and who continue to make him try harder. He’s inspired by WBR and the close connection between the staff, the organization, and the communities being served. I feel like they’re my neighbors, my family. All of us can make a big difference to change lives through a bicycle. Together, we can lift each other up, encourage each other forward, and change lives. We can make it up the mountain….and back. Together, we can lift each other up, encourage each other forward, and change lives. We can make it up the mountain….and back.
First timer to Leadville Craig Lewis has a goal beyond finishing the race: raise enough money to send more than 20 bikes to those who need it most. Craig feels lucky that he had a bike when he was a kid, and since then has come to appreciate that he always has such a great mode of transportation. He’s excited to participate in Leadville so that he can raise awareness and help grant the same access to bikes for those who need it most.
I love the idea of using a race to get others on bikes.
You will usually find photographer Jered Gruber behind the camera lens at every major pro cycling event around the world, but this August, you’ll find him at Leadville behind the bars of a friend’s bike. First timer Jered had always hoped to ride Leadville, but his rigorous travel schedule has made that seem more like a dream until this year. I’m writing this right now at the Tour de France. I’m a photographer, and along with my wife Ashley, embedded with the Dimension Data for Qhubeka team. We’ve seen the power of World Bicycle Relief’s mission up close, and it has blown me away. When I take into account how a bike can completely change a young person’s life in Africa and give them opportunities that would never otherwise be possible, that’s something I want to be a part of. That’s something I feel an immense responsibility to be a part of. I believe in the Power of Bicycles and that bicycles change lives.
This will be Dave Thompson’s third trip to Leadville in three years, and he can’t wait to share the experience with old and new friends in such a majestic setting. Dave is proud to be a member of the WBR team because he knows first-hand how a bike can create dramatic change for an individual and a family. His son, Rob, suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident in 2008 and is now in a wheelchair. Dave build a tandem bike that they now ride together, and Rob loves it. Biking has improved Rob’s life, and given our family a positive activity to share. Rob’s positive attitude in the face of adversity inspires me every day.”
Dave, both you and your son inspire us, too – best of luck!