Looking at Leadville 100 MTB, 3 Ways

7 Sep
10 MIN

With the 5th race in the Lifetime Grand Prix series coming up next week, we're looking back at Leadville 100 MTB now that the dust has settled. Three of our riders did extensive race reports, so let's see how each of them felt about the race:

Alexey Vermeulen, 4th place

Leadville 100 - a hard fought battle for 4th place! Follow along for the days leading up to and the race itself thanks to Cold Collaborative! Avery and I go through my nutrition, strategy and final placing in a quick and exciting recap! (Read more about Alexey's race here.)

Dylan Johnson, 20th

Going Deep at 12,000ft (3,600m)! Leadville Trail 100 Race Tactic and Power Analysis: 63,266 views  Aug 26, 2022  The Leadville trail 100 is the most prestigious 100 mile MTB race in the US and this year the competition was deeper than it's ever been. I go into my altitude acclamation process, race tactics, and power analysis for this year's race.

Adam Roberge, 59th

I chose to race Leadboat, so raced Leadville on Saturday and SBT GRVL on Sunday. Leadville 100 MTB is in serious contention for my worst performance on the bike. The first 60km of the race were going pretty well, I was in and out of the front group, but it was clear I was over-doing it. The over-pacing finally catch-up, and I exploded. After that, whenever I tried to regain any sort of pace, my head would start hurting, so for the last 3h I just pedalled my way easily to the finish.

I'm honestly not sure what the takeaways are. I knew that training on a MTB and high-altitude acclimatization was the key to this race. However, my priority is gravel. On a more positive note, I still ensured to finish even if the result wasn't there. I frankly was enjoying shredding those brutal old-schools MTB trail on the Factor Hanzo.

The next day at SBT was a day that will redefine gravel racing After the usual hectic start, a strong breakaway of 5 went up the road. With no team to control it, the pace was slow unless we rode a challenging sector. Despite those hard surges, every time we would get a time gap, it was getting worse. At about mid-way, the break had an 8min lead.

Right around that time, we arrived at the main feed zone. Upon arrival, I put a foot down and saw Kegan Swenson storming through with his hydration pack on his back. Having already stopped earlier for water and having to chase back, I got right back on my bike and was able to make it back to a diminished front group.

From now on, I knew gravel racing had changed. (1) A break was up the road, (2) more than half of our group was happy to sit on and gamble that others would do the work, (3) strategic hydration had now kicked some of the favourites out of contention. At this point, we now had a 6min deficit on the break. Following a gruelling 45min, I was on top of the last massive climb with a reduced group of 7 with still 3 riders in front. I tried pushing the pace on the following decent, and my left leg completely cramped up. After 30sec, I was able to pedal again, and found myself riding the last 35km.

To end, I would like to highlight Keegan’s remarkable feat. Winning Leadville MTB 100 & STB GRVL back-to-back was something truly inspiring to watch. I can tell you firsthand that Leadville DESTROYED your legs and that there’s no way you are fully replenished the following morning. Despite that, for the second half of the race, he assumed about half of the work in our chasing group of 20 to bring back the break.

I’ll have to explore options, but I guess next year, I will have to adopt Keegan’s strategy of carrying more water. I’m confident in hypothesizing that the extra fluid weight is worth it to avoid chasing. What a day, not the results I was training for, but I’m satisfied with the execution and excited to get back to work.