Ear to the ground

“I sold my geared mountain bikes, put on 15 pounds of beer weight to give me momentum on downhills, and threw my heart rate monitor in a box in the garage somewhere.”

– An online discussion of training tips for the upcoming Singlespeed World Championships, Sept. 16-20 in Durango

Lance vs. the monster

Lance Armstrong is squaring off against the Gila Monster this week. The seven-time Tour de France winner has pedaled into the Sotuhwest and is currently racing the Tour of the Gila, which runs through May 3.

Armstrong and Astana teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner recently negotiated their way into the starting line at Silver City, N.M. The race is Armstrong’s first since he broke his collarbone in Spain’s Vuelta a Castilla y León last month and a crucial step on his quest for an eighth Tour victory.

Armstrong told Velonews that he’s ready to break his cycling fast in the Land of Enchantment. “I’m excited to get back to competitive racing. The recovery training has been going well but nothing compares to getting back into the bunch and racing,” he said.

The Tour of the Gila is a hilly five-day stage race that has run for 23 years. The Gila is renowned for its tough climbs, hot weather, and fast, professional fields. The Gila Monster stage, in particular, climbs steeply over an 18-mile stretch and is one of the burliest climbs in national road racing.

“Lance and I are psyched to race the Gila,” Leipheimer told Velonews. “It’s great preparation for Europe, and we know this race will be challenging. There is a hell of a lot of uphill.”

Durangoans can follow the action at www.velonews.com or grab the cowbell, hop in the car and drive south.

Wolf for the weekend

Don’t hang up your boards and boots yet. Local fans of lift-served can score two bonus days this weekend. Wolf Creek Ski Area is firing up the lifts again on May 2 & 3.

The nearby ski area continues to boast a 96-inch midway base and will be cranking up the Nova, Bonanza and Treasure chairs in honor of the late season snowpack. The Alberta Lift will also be running if conditions hold out.

In case you’re on the fence, Wolf Creek will host a beer tasting on Saturday with the San Luis Valley Brewery Co. pouring on the upper lodge deck. Those capable of passing a breathalyzer can also take part in a Rail Jam that afternoon benefiting the Pagosa Springs Skate Park.

Lift tickets are also returning to their relatively modest locals’ appreciation rates for the weekend.




In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down