(same as cyclingnews.com diary)
Only a few days to go until Leadville!
I am finally adapting to the altitude. I sleep much better, plus also my heart seems to pump comfortable at higher beats, which is more than necessary when I am thinking of how many times it will pump over the 6h race. It is going to be my longest race ever, and by accident last saturday I did also my longest training ride ever. With my old team mate and friend Alban Lakata we rode from Breckenridge over Mosquito Pass (4000meter) to Leadville, rode the course from Powerline on and then back via Copper Mountain to Breckenridge again. 170km in 7hrs with over 3000meter of climbing. I must admit I was pretty death the day after.
You might be interested what bike I am going to race?
It will be my 29er Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail. It was also Todd Wells winning formula last year. Sure I would have much more fun and comfort on the Epic or Stumpjumper 29er soft tail, but I am racing for the result only, and for that I want the lightest and best rolling bike in the world. You can not compare Leadville to the grueling Cape-Epic stages which are so rough, plus it is a stage race where you have to be recovered again for the next day. Tire wise I am rolling with my Renegades. The tire I designed with Specialized Engineers together a few years ago. It is our fasted tire with still enough knobs for good traction. I am wondering if I will see any 650b wheel sizes out there. In Europe highly discussed at the moment, but to me it seems like the Americans know that the biggest is the best! The other day tried out a 650b bike, and I felt “back to the past” being on a 26er. I am pretty sure I could not feel any difference between a 26er and 650b during a blind test.
It is a lot about the bike, but even with the best equipment you are not going far with the wrong nutrition!
For breakfast I am eating rice with Nutella and a cup of good coffee two hours before the start. That means it will be 4.30am and still dark outside. My race fuel is going to be Sponser Competition drink mix, plus I love they’re oat bar and long energy gels which are not sweet. It gives me great sustain energy for many hours. But for such a long race I also want a normal sandwich with Parmesan cheese and avocado. In case I run out of energy and speed it is my body and head only…. no excuse!