After Rapha deal, EF-Drapac riders argue over who gets to ride Leadville 100


If there was any doubt about how EF-Drapac’s lineup of WorldTour racers would react to the team’s plan to expand outside of road racing in 2019, it can be put to rest.

Three of the teams riders, including Canada’s Michael Woods, are locked in a debate over who will get to represent Rapha / EF-Drapac’s new team at the 2019 Leadville 100 mountain bike marathon.

Lawson Craddock was the first to make his claim to any starting spot the team secures. The Texan called “dibs” on the bucket list race, a popular target race for endurance-minded mountain bikers. Woods quickly responded that he’d already laid claim back in April, which suggests EF-Drapac’s planned detour to off-road events had been in the works a while before it was made public.

RELATED: Rapha announces innovative partnership with Michael Woods’ EF Education First-Drapac team

From there, the good natured argument devolves into claims to seniority and challenges. Woods’ finally allows that Craddock can have the spot, if he’ll take to the start on his fathers 1980’s mountain bike. Other than a needing a bit of air in the tires, the bike doesn’t actually look in bad shape, though it lacks modern conveniences like suspension, and disc brakes.

EF-Drapac announced its change in direction at the same time as Rapha came on board as the team’s new apparel sponsor. Along with the new sponsor, EF-Drapac said the team will participate in “Criteriums, ultra-endurance races and renowned mixed-terrain events,” on top of it’s WorldTour competitions on the road.

The announcement comes just weeks after Woods’ incredible third place ride at the 2019 UCI road world championships.

RELATED: Michael Woods insane ride to bronze at the world championships is on Strava with power

Leadville 100 is a mountain bike marathon race held in a small Colorado town of the same name. The 100-mile race first ran in 1994, making it one of the oldest mountain bike marathons still running today. Racers compete for a large belt buckle, awarded to the winners of each years race. It’s longevity has made it a “must-do” event for many cyclists.

Previous winners include David Wiens, Rebecca Rusch, and Annika Langvad. The race gained increased public attention when Lance Armstrong attempted to win the race. He was defeated by Wiens in his first attempt, before winning the race in 2009. The race was won the following year by Levi Leipheimer.





Source link