Leadville 100 MTB 2019


I’m late to this thread but I’m in via the lottery as well! Super excited and nervous! Reading every Leadville thread and article I can find right now.




My name was also pulled out for the lottery! See you guys there!


Listen to the Leadville podcast series. Will tell you everything you want to know about the race. They also have a 3 hr podcast containing a full description of the course, start to finish.


Have any of you started researching the appropriate times for checkpoints for specific finishing times?


For sub 9:

St. Kevins/road intersection: 0:45-0:55
Top of Sugarloaf/beginning Powerline descent: 1:30-1:40
Pipeline Aid: 2-2:05
Twin Lakes Aid: 2:45-2:50
Columbine turnaround: 4:30-4:40
Twin Lakes Return: 5:00-5:10
Pipeline Return: ~5:50
Top of Powerline: 7:20-7:30
Top of road climb/neutral aid: ~8:00
Bottom of Blvd/beginning of rock climb: 8:40


The best way is to look at past finishers times and splits. For your given target time, find 5 (more if you want) finishers with that time. Then take the average of their times for each split. You can get a very good read this way.

The hardest part will be estimating what a good (realistic, yet still stretching you) target is for your finish time.

This post has some estimates of how to do this based on your FTP.


Have any of you taken an LT GPX file and turned different parts of the course into TR workouts?


I have not. You could do that, but for the most part you’ll be riding all sections of the LT100 at a lower power than a typical TR workout.

The hard part of Leadville is not any one climb by itself, but the fact that you have to do those climbs back to back in a 103 mile ride (and at altitude).

In a pre ride 4 weeks before the race a few years ago, I think I cleaned powerline. But on race day, I walked all of the steep parts.

So rather than training for a particular climb - where in training you might “smash it” - I think it’s more important to really dial in your pacing for the race. This is hard to do, other than having some experience on similar rides, and/or, being used to riding with power and knowing the IF you can hold for a given duration, adjusted as appropriate for altitude.


Good luck everyone!

My tips:

  1. Sweet spot all day long! Get good at ridding at sweet spot, you’ll do this on the climbs.
  2. Optimize your equipment; tires, kits, chain, and helmet. I saw so many slow tires, not tight jerseys (let alone skin suits), squeaky chains and un-aero helmets. People are probably losing 20-40 watts depending on how bad their setup is.
  3. Train to eat. Think of this as your new discipline. Find the right combo of carbs to get 100g an hour or more. I wish I would have done more of this earlier.

And if you really want bonus points, try carb loading before another long event that’s not super important to see how you handle it.


I also recommend doing a qualifier event if you got in through the lottery to both:

  • Test your nutrition strategy
  • Get a better starting corral placement.

If you want to go Sub 9, shoot for Green or better. Red is ideal, but you can slot into Red if you are on the ball once they open the gate across the street and I was easily able to scoot along the side to get myself into a better position at the start.

Edit: no longer relevant this year since they are doing wave start


I put together a very simple spreadsheet of splits for various times based upon one random finisher time splits per category. So take with a full-dose of salt.


This is what I did a couple of years also. I took an average of 5 finishers for my target time to get representative times. The harder part though is knowing what time to target!


Looks like there is a change in the start this year. They are starting in “waves” rather than all at once.

More details: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/s2e5-new-for-2019-starting-in-waves/id1387347630?i=1000430225785&mt=2

Wave 1: Gold, Silver, Red at 6:30
Wave 2: Green and Purple at 6:34
Wave 3: Orange and Blue at 6:38
Wave 4: White or no corral 6:42

Pros: less traffic on St. Kevins
Cons: less fast people to draft on Pipeline outbound

Overall, I think this makes it more of an imperative to get into Red if you want to go Sub-9


Wow! I think this will make it easier to go faster. Even if you’re in green it should make it easier to hook with with fast greens (although I agree with you there’s no chance to connect with a red).


Side note @nate, what tires did you use for Leadville?


It’s tough to say. I think you probably save more minutes and energy in a pack on Pipeline out than you lose being stuck in the congo line on St. Kevins.

But it’s all conjecture at this point! It could be that putting green and purple together puts everyone in a good spot to work together and the pack will be really big on the way out to Columbine.


Very cool spreadsheet. Question: How did you come up with the W/kg at the top?


@Nate used a Thunder Burt on the rear and a Racing Ralph up front.

I haven’t heard @Jonathan say yet what he is using, but I suspect Aspens…


Aspens or maybe even a lower profile tire.