Leadville 100 mountain bike race is the nation's highest-altitude endurance test and Armstrong crushed it, flat tire and all.
Despite riding on a flat tire for the last 10 miles, Armstrong shaved nearly 17 minutes off the record, winning in 6 hours, 28 minutes, 50 seconds.
He beat six-time defending champion Dave Wiens, who came in second in 6:57:01.
"He's Lance Armstrong. And he's just off of the Tour," Wiens said. "Last year he was just off of the couch. That made it a pretty fair fight for he and I. This year I rode fantastic today. I'm happy.
Besides in the time trial, Armstrong isn't used to riding alone, something he had to do in order to grab the win.
"I sort of had to decide what to do, if you wait for the other guys or if you just try to go the rest of the race by yourself," Armstrong said. "And it's a little risky to do that. At the end you're wasted. Buy I rolled the dice a little bit. Plus, I was freezing. I wanted to start riding hard because I was about to freeze."
"I felt better than last year. Obviously, I'm more prepared than I was last year, but that cold start was brutal," Armstrong said. "The dirt was nice and tacky, so that helped."
As far as the flat goes, there was so car to call for help, Lance was on his own.
"I don't normally change flats. I call the car and they fix it. That's the way it works in road cycling," Armstrong said. "And when I'm out on a ride and have to change one, I'm just terrible at changing flats. So, that's why I just put more air in it, thinking that the foam would seal it.
"And it did for a while and then I just said, 'Ah, screw it, I'll just ride it home.'"
"This is a special race, the dynamic of going out and back and so I see everybody else in the race," Armstrong said. "I mean, I see everybody from Dave, I see where he is, and then I see the last guy who's not going to make it."
Lance said he will be back next year to defend his championship.
For you tech guys. Here's a little more about Lance's bike set up from the SRAM web site.
Lance requested that the bike come equipped with a complete production
SRAM XX mountain bike gruppo; the latest, lightest, most efficient
performance defining MTB gruppo which involved the SRAM, RockShox,
Avid, and Truvativ brands. The goal of the XX project was to craft the
most advanced cross-country specific gruppo ever.
Lance's race set-up features the RockShox X-Loc handlebar remote
connected to his SID suspension fork set at 100mm of travel. Also, the
RockShox Ario rear shock utilizes an optional remote lock-out, which is
mounted on his right side of the cockpit. He chose to run the 28/42
gearing mated to the 11-36 10 speed SRAM XX cassette with the PC 1090R
chain and PowerLock. XX triggers control front and rear XX derailleurs,
and he selected 160 X-Sweep rotors to finish off the XX brakeset.
Prior to his winning his state title Lance tweeted about his new XX
gruppo, "First ride on the new SRAM XX as well. Hands down best
shifting I've experienced on a mtb." High praise for a guy who is
pretty particular about his componentry.