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Colorado training at 3,000 metres, pictured here with Formula One driver Brendon Hartley and wife Sarah.


By: Mark Webber

There’s only three days to go until the Leadville 100 MTB in Colorado. I wanted to share a few insights in to my preparation and what I’m looking forward to the most over the 100-mile trek across the Colorado Rockies.

One of the most important parts of preparing is the altitude adjustment – there’s no question you need time there at altitude to prepare for the race. Every day is crucial.

You need to be well stocked up the day before, plenty of carbs.  On the day of the race, you have to get up very early, 4am for the 6am start, and try and have some breakfast, eggs are my usual go-to. On the ride, I’m having pancakes, little rice cakes, jam or peanut sandwiches, little boiled potatoes, and then the last part of the ride, sugar in the form of gels/Red Bull.

It’s a real test, every pedal stroke is another stroke towards the finish, you keep resetting yourself to keep your form good, try not to get complacent, or tired mentally and sometimes you ride with nice people who have similar goals as you do, so it’s nice to talk to them.

I’ve done it with mates in the past – it’s a huge component of taking part. It’s fun, it’s a wind-up, there’s plenty of banter and of course there’s a bit competition starts creeping in among the group. But, you don’t ride with them – when the race starts you’re on your own.

And then there’s the scenery – the mountains you climb and descend, it’s all so enjoyable. It’s a lot of fire trails, it’s extremely mountainous and quite barren above the tree line when you get very high altitude, there’s not much is growing up there. But the Twin Lakes area, and climbing up the back of Power Line is a very nice part of the ride because you have a stunning view down and can look back, on some sections the elevation gives you a spectacular view and you feel so small and insignificant. Along the top of Columbine is very beautiful because you know you’re half way then! But only half way …

I can’t wait to tackle this monster again this year. As I’ve said, doing it with mates is a huge component of taking part. There’s plenty of banter early, and a bit of competition.

But soon enough into the day, the race starts you’re on your own. I’m looking forward to writing a few words after the finish line on Saturday.

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