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Pre-Leadville training and racing in Breckenridge

Christoph Sauser
August 07, 2012, 16:09 BST,
August 07, 2012, 17:19 BST
Leadville 100

Miles logged on the Colorado Trail

My 14th place at the World Cup in Val d'Isère was more and less what I expected. There were three incidents worth mentioning from the race: my Superman crash on lap two, a bee sting on my tongue, plus the lack of oxygen due to the altitude which sped up our breathing but slowed down our legs. After each sip of drink, I was worried I was turning into an asthmatic!

So I'm wondering how I will cope with Leadville's altitude which is another 1000m higher then Val d'Isère, plus we will race over six hours.

Well now, more or less I know. I just finished some power workouts here in Breckenridge, which is at the same altitude as Leadville, just a valley further east.  Training is like a roller coaster. At some stages, I feel super good, then a few minutes later I just want to lay down flat next to my bike... My heart is pumping so intensely at a heart rate of 150 that it almost want to pop out my throat.

Riding here in Breckenridge is flip'n awesome! My favorite is the Colorado trail. One day, when I am big, I will do the whole thing, all the way from Denver to Durango. More and less 750km sweet singletrack!

What is very unique and great to see is so many families with small kids riding the bike paths here. It is seriously busy! If I ride fast, I have to ride on the main roads, otherwise it becomes like a slalom race. I did not expected so much family cycling in America.

It would be also nice to see bikes used for shopping or commuting to work, instead of hopping into a V8 Chevy Truck mostly just for moving an 80kg human body around...

Training wise, I am doing two long rides of five and six hours and the rest is more quality with 5x6-minute power workouts and longer progressive sprints with one minuted of recovery in between. I will end up training 20 hours this week and around eight hours in the week leading up to Leadville.

Thanks for reading,


Christoph Sauser

In 2008, Christoph Sauser fulfilled a long-time dream when he became the mountain bike cross country World Champion. The 35-year-old Swiss rider of the Specialized Racing Team is part of a talented crop of Swiss cross country racers.  He races for Team Specialized. Sauser has won more than a dozen UCI World Cups and has twice been the World Cup overall champion - in 2004 & 2005. He can go fast over long distances, too. Sauser won the mountain bike marathon World Championships in 2007 and 2011 and finished as the runner-up in 2008.  He is also a multi-time winner of the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race. Follow Sauser's adventures around the globe as he races the World Cup cross country circuit and marathon and stage races throughout 2012.

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