Keegan Swenson takes his third consecutive Leadville Trail 100 MTB and obliterates the course record

Leadville Trail 100 MTB race
Keegan Swenson crossing the line in a new record time (Image credit: Life Time)

History was made in the 2023 Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB race in Colorado, as defending champion Keegan Swenson broke the course record by over fifteen minutes in a dominating performance. Swenson won his third consecutive Leadville Trail 100 MTB and his new course record time now stands at 5:43:31 for the famed ‘Race Across the Sky’ event.

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is renowned as one of the best mountain bike events on the planet and is part of the Life Time Grand Prix racing series that brings together the best gravel bike and MTB bike riders. First run in 1994, gaining an entry for The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is now almost as hard as racing 'the Daddy of MTB events'. 

For those lucky enough to claim an entry, Leadville is an out-and-back course of around 100 miles, starting and finishing in downtown Leadville. Featuring five monster climbs and a total elevation gain of 3,400m. The largest climb and the halfway point is the Columbine Mine climb with a whopping 910m of elevation.

Riders at the start of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race

Leadville Trail 100 MTB race is part of a seven race Life Time Grand Prix series (Image credit: Life Time)

Keegan Swenson smashed the previous record which had stood since 2015 by over fifteen minutes, and was held by Alban Lakata. After Swenson came up short in 2022, by just 1:26 he was determined to claim the record and he obliterated the previous best time, he said afterwards, "It was great last year, I came up short of the record. This year I was all-in. I was going to send it, I wanted to make it mine."

Keegan Swenson leads the pack on a climb at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race

Keegan Swenson leading the pack but he would eventually break free (Image credit: Life Time)

Swenson broke free from a thirteen-rider front group one-third of the way through the race and rode solo for the victory, he finished almost twenty five minutes clear of his nearest rivals with Alexey Vermeulen and John Gaston taking the remaining podium spots.

With his victory, Swenson also extended his lead in the men’s standings of the Life Time Grand Prix series having won all 4 rounds so far. With three rounds remaining, he has a solid lead over second-placed Russell Finsterwald and looks set to claim the overall title.

Riders on the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race

Leadville Trail is renowned for tough climbs and stunning scenery (Image credit: Life Time)

2023 Life Time Grand Prix remaining dates

  • September 16: 40-mile Life Time Chequamegon MTB in Cable, Wisconsin
  • September 30: Wildcard 110-mile Life Time The Rad Dirt Fest in Trinidad, Colorado
  • October 21: 100-mile Life Time Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Arkansas (mandatory tie breaker)
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm