It is funny how altitude affects different riders. I have normally never been very good at altitude. It has probably been my biggest obstacle in the sport. On the road, with the Coors Classic having nearly the whole race at altitude, then when I started riding more MTB, nearly all the events were held at altitude, high altitude.
I’m not sure why I acclimate slowly. I don’t feel “right” at altitude unless I’ve been there for weeks. I’ve had pretty good results at altitude, both on the road and MTB, but like I said, it takes a ton effort to get to a point that I can ride okay.
It always used to amaze me how the best Pro riders from Europe could come over here and ride fast right from the get go. Bernard Hinault, Phil Anderson, Lemond, all seemed to show up for the Coors Classic and never have any issues. Our team would spend a month at 9000 ft. in Mammouth acclimating.
There aren’t that many places in the world where you can ride consistently over 9000 feet. At least many places that have nice paved roads like Colorado.
But, the last couple times I’ve been in Colorado, I feel better riding after 5 days or so. I’m sure racing will be a different story, but riding isn’t too bad. I think I feel better. That is what I was hoping for. Getting out of the allergies and heat to give myself a chance to reset. I’m hoping it’s working.
We rode MTB for 4 hours a couple days ago and it was pretty hard. Yesterday, we rode from Silverthorne over Loveland Pass and down the other side towards Georgetown. I didn’t feel too bad climbing Loveland Pass either direction. I wasn’t going that fast, but I could at least pedal at 12,000 feet.
I don’t really understand why Gilbert and Boonen went to altitude for their micro training camps after the classics. If I were in their positions, I wouldn’t spend time training at altitude unless I needed to race at altitude. I think you loose power riding at altitude. I think it is good for your blood though. Maybe if you’re just trying to recovery from the first part of the season, then I get it. But it does stress your body some.
Okay, not sure what I’m doing today. It has been a heat warning in Topeka since I left. It is going to be almost 75 degrees here today. Hardly a cloud in the sky this morning. Pretty nice.