rebecca rusch, bike, race

The Red Bulletin Podcast: The Race to Save a Town

Words: Andreas Tzortzis
Photography: Todd Meier/Red Bull Content Pool

The mining industry abandoned Leadville, but Ken Coubler didn’t. How a mine worker and endurance enthusiast created the world’s toughest biking race and a town’s second act.

They say the ride down Sixth Street in Leadville at the end of the Leadville Trail 100 is like the victory lap down the Champs Elysees at the end of the Tour de France. So what could Ken Chlouber’s annual pre-race speech be compared to? Tough to say. The organizer of one of America’s toughest endurance races is a mix of gospel preacher and high school football coach with a sprinkling of the town jester. But to the small Colorado mining town that’s hosted the event since 1983, he and his partner in crime—Merilee Maupin—are saviors. Ahead of next week’s podcast with endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch, we dive into the characters and history of the Leadville Trail 100.

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