Leadville 100 MTB 2019

I’ll be at the stage race and Leadville this year. I race as a cat 2 on the road. I’ll focus more on Leadville probably around mid April

1 Like

Thank you for all your hard work crunching numbers that realate to the race. It’s been a huge help. I heard you on the leadville podcast. Way to go!


For fun I went backed and looked at my times vs. some finishers that were in the 8:50-9:00 group. I was pretty surprised by the result so thought I would share.

Everyone mentioned the risk of starting too fast and blowing up. Because of this I was pretty patient going up St. Kevin’s and looking at the data, I would argue potentially too patient. I started at the front of the race (gold corral) so traffic was not an excuse. However, I didn’t really have a time goal for the race and didn’t have sub 9 targets on my top tube. I was more interested in “enjoying” the day and going hard but didn’t have any aid station time goals in mind.

As it turns out I was way behind the sub 9 pace 2 hours into the race, losing about 12 minutes to the slowest of the sub 9 times I went back and compared my times to. This was through Pipeline outbound (PL1) where they went through at 8:32ish and I came through at 8:45.

My finish time was just over 9:10, so 12-13 minutes was definitely enough to matter.

From that point on throughout the rest of the race, I bounced around that -12 minutes off the pace mark pretty tightly. For example through Twin Lakes I was -13. For the top of Columbine I was -12. At Carter Summit I was -10.

So by my calculations, I rode at a sub 9 pace for about 7 hours of the race but started so far off the sub 9 mark I wasn’t able to make it up.

I know the feeling is that it’s a long day out there so save some for the end. I think I had sub 9 in me once I settled into my race pace. I simply wish that I had done so at the start of the race rather than a couple of hours in. This year I am going to risk blowing up in order to stay on target. I’ve already come close to 9 so it will be sub 9 or I will pop and it won’t matter, again.


I agree with your assessment about St. Kevin’s. IMO it’s a good strategy to be with the fastest group you can going into St. Kevin’s, provided you aren’t over threshold. It’s not so long of a climb that you can’t recover on the road section down to Sugarloaf.

I’ve updated my analysis of the qualifying events and predictions for finish times to employ a logarithmic regression analysis. The correlation coefficient is marginally better employing this method, and will generally inspire more confidence for those folks–like myself–that are in the purple, orange, and/or blue corrals.

FYI, in Excel the function is: = LN(“qualifying time”)*Slope+Intercept, where the “qualifying time” is expressed in the HH:MM:SS format.

Sub-9hr predictions:

Sub-12hr predictions:


Check out the Maxxis treadlite for the rear 2.1 with xo protection probable similar to thunder bert


I’m going to be switching from a coach to Trainer Road. I’ve completed the 100 in under 12 uncoached (
not wise) two years ago. Looking at the training plans on TR what is everyone using? Support suggested using the Century.?

Cool, thanks mcneese.chad

1 Like

Powerline got graded

Looks like you folks will have no excuse not to ride it this year (besides it being steep as heck at 10,000 feet)


The talked about the changes to the lower portion of Powerline on the current Leadville podcast. They don’t expect it to have too much impact on the race but it will be easier to pick lines now. One concern they raised is that the ruts acted as speedbumps before on the descent, and now there is the potential for some big mishaps if a lot of riders start bombing down the 17 - 21% grades.

I’m heading out to Leadville next week so will get a chance to see it up close.

Honestly, the ruts made me super nervous with that many people. I’ll be riding in Summit, Lake and Chaffee counties next week and can’t wait to see the conditions of the course.

Agree. Won’t really change anybody’s time by more than a few minutes. I got stuck in a conga line of descenders on powerline, and while it felt excruciatingly slow, I probably only lost about 3 minutes.

The big change might be more crashes, especially if the surface is loose over hard - as people will get going really fast on that smooth surface, and then not be able to stop.

Going up won’t really change at all. I’ll still be hiking on that section!

What does the week leading up to the race look like for most of you from a training perspective?

***For reference, I am central Ohio flat lander Current Wt/Kg is 4.6-4.7, 6 week avg TSS is around 520. , however I will be in Gatlinburg Tennessee for a week until July 27th.

During that (vacation) week I will do some or most of my climbing training up Clingmans dome (great climb) , Cherokee, Blue Ridge, and few other spots. Solid 9-11k delta days, with Clingmans being a 23 mile climb. Projected 6 week TSS rolling avg by AUG will be around 675-700. That leaves about 13 days until the race…That training load is fine as well…I could keep that load if I did not have three kids…

I am not sure how much to ease off the gas or how soon, I do tend to appreciate a little more rest then pushing more effort before long races. So I am curious what others are up to the days leading up!

Should be fun.

1 Like

I’ll be doing a 2 week taper. 70% to 40% of volume 2 weeks and 1 week out. I respond better to a longer taper.

1 Like

I’m in for the second time and this time I’m working on raising my FTP to handle the climbs

1 Like

Was wondering the same thing. I’m finishing the Century road plan the week of the race, so was just going to do the built in recovery week with maybe a short opener on Friday? Usually the long taper works for me, plus I’ll be traveling with family for a week prior to the race. Would love to hear what others are doing?

Nate, you ran Racing Ralph up front. Why not the Thunder Burt front and rear?

1 Like

I recently swapped to the thunder Burt on the rear and wondered why it’s not being ran on the front also…

I’ve never tried a Thunder Burt in the front, but you are going to give up some traction versus a Racing Ralph (old style - new one is rear only) or the newer Racing Ray.

Schwalbe made some changes to the XC tires a little over a year ago. The Racing Ralph, which used to be used front and rear, became a dedicated rear only tire and meant to be paired with the Racing Ray, a dedicated front tire. The Racing Ralph in the rear is in their “Speed” rubber compound and the Racing Ray in “Speedgrip”, which has a little more traction.

I’ve been planning on running the Thunder Burt in the rear as well, but I tried out the Racing Ralph/Racing Ray combo at Leadville last weekend and thought it performed really well. I had tons of traction in the rocks but they didn’t drag on the pavement. I also ran them at Wilmington Whiteface and they were good there as well. The way the tire is shaped you run on the center strip of the tread pattern on the pavement, and I think this pretty effectively cuts the drag.

I’m heading back to Leadville later this month, so may try and ride the Thunder Burt back to back with the Racing Ralph on the rear, but I suspect the difference will be small and it may be nice to have the extra bite of the Ralph on the rocky steep sections.