Leadville course recon complete! I rode the section from Powerline down to Twin Lakes and back, 40 miles and a couple thousand feet of climbing. While it may not look like much on paper it's actually a rather grueling stretch of road, double track and single track. It does offer some recovery after the first third of the course, and will provide some moments to draft off people.
Having ridden the entire course I can put my mind at ease. Stringing together the entire course mentally will play to my advantage. I now know when and where I can push my pace. I'm still sticking to my game plan of riding conservatively all the way to the top of the Columbine climb and see what I have left heading back to the finish.
I tagged along with a nice couple from New York. It was their first time doing Leadville, too, but they've volunteered the year before. We got turned around a couple of times because the course wasn't well marked. I relied heavily on my Garmin route to show us the way. We split off once we got the Pipeline aid station.
The flat expanse of Colorado is so amazing to look at. The weather has been amazing the entire week, and I hope it stays that way. The rain from a couple of days ago helped with trail conditions, but there were quite a few huge puddles to navigate around.
There's a fast and tight single track just a few miles outside of the Pipeline aid station. It's not very long, but it's really fun and fast. I'm wondering how it'll go down when we've got the leaders going up as the rest of the thousands of riders are going down.
The ride back was great. I figured most people were either pre-riding Columbine or St. Kevins pass, having passed only a handful of riders, granted it's the middle of the week. Today was also the first time I feel like the acclimation is turning in my favor. My breathing has returned back to normal, but I can feel it whenever I push myself beyond tempo.
There's not much more prep I can do. Today I picked up my race day nutrition, consisting of a lot of Hammer Gel, Gu Chops, Gu Brew and energy drinks. I stopped in at the Leadville race headquarters and picked up a nice Leadville commemorative jersey. I'll be back in the morning to pick up my race packet and do the medical check-in.