Pre-Leadville training and racing in Breckenridge

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,


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Former mountain bike world champion Christoph Sauser has a lengthy palmares, including multiple Cape Epic victories. The Swiss rider is blogging for Cyclingnews from the South African stage race in 2017, providing insight into his experience and the race overall.