Marathon world champion looks forward to longest race yet
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 comfortably at higher rates, which is more than necessary when I am thinking of how many times it will pump over the course of the six-hour race.
Leadville is going to be my longest race ever, and by accident last Saturday I did also my longest training ride ever. With my old teammate and friend Alban Lakata, I rode from Breckenridge over Mosquito Pass (4000m high) to Leadville, rode the course from Powerline on and then back via Copper Mountain to Breckenridge again. 170km in seven hours with over 3000m of climbing. I must admit I was pretty dead 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 rig last year. Sure, I would have much more fun and comfort on the Epic or Stumpjumper 29er softtail, 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 Cape Epic 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 fastest tire with still enough knobs for good traction.
I am wondering if I will see any 650b wheel sizes out there. In Europe, they are highly discussed at the moment, but to me, it seems like the Americans know that the biggest (29ers) is the best. The other day tried out a 650b bike, and I felt like I'd stepped back in time - like 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 will eat rice with Nutella and have a cup of good coffee two hours before the start. That means it will be 4:30 am and still dark outside. My race fuel is going to be Sponser Competition drink mix, plus I love their oat bars and long energy gels, which are not sweet. It gives me great, sustaining 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 excuses!
- 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.
- Date published:
- January 29, 16:58
Honoring a lost friend and teammate
- Date published:
- December 19, 2012, 16:00
Off to South Africa for Cape Epic training
- Date published:
- September 5, 2012, 21:44
Specialized rider reflects on runner-up performance at Leadville