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Hill Abell Takes on Leadville – 100 Miles & 14,000 Feet of Climbing

August 5, 2009

Leadville, Colorado sits in a high-mountain valley surrounded by 2 mountain ranges.  To the west you will find the Sawatch Mountains and to the east the Mosquito Range.  Leadville was not a typical cowboy settlement, but a mining and merchant town.  Originally named Cloud City the town changed its name following the silver boom of 1877 to Leadville, The Source of Silver.

Today Leadville is the home of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race.  The course is a 50 mile out and back route that offers 90 miles of dirt roads and 14,000 feet of elevation gain.  An interesting thing to note about this event is the way they do their registration.  It’s a lottery.  Of the thousands of people who submitted a request only 1350 people will participate in this year’s event.  Selections were made earlier this year in January and our own Hill Abell made the cut.

Monday I received some questions from our online followers in response to an article in the Statesman.  The article, which focused on Hill’s mountain bike advocacy efforts over the years, mentioned his goals for this year’s Leadville event.  They[our followers] were curious about his entrance into the Leadville 100 and his goal of 10 hours.

Carter: It was mentioned in the Statesman article that you had a goal of 10 hours. Did you pull that time out of a hat or was there a reason behind it?

Hill: My target time is 9:46, the time my friend and fellow IMBA board member John Bliss did last year.  John lives in Boulder and races mtb and cross almost weekly year round, is super fit and if I could match his time it will be a miracle but a good goal to shoot for.

Carter: Not having raced Leadville before, how will gauge your effort against your goal?

Hill: There are 5 check points on the out and back ride and they give you splits at each of them so its easy to gauge your speed against goal.

Carter: One of our faithful tweeps @donbikes wanted to know what bike you will be on.  Can you give us the run down on your ride and the components you’ve chosen to take down Mr. Bliss?

Hill: I’m riding a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumer carbon 29r hardtail with a Rockshox Reba that weighs 23 lbs, not bad for a big wheel but not crazy light like some of the pros rigs that are coming in under 20 lbs.  I’m using Rotor cranks with elliptical rings and they are working great, 44/33/23 gear combo with a 13/34 cogset.

Carter: A few customers have questioned wheel choices for Leadville.  Apparently this is a big topic.  Can you tell us what you’ve chosen or are you keeping this a secret?

Hill: Wheels are critical on a 29r so I have Industry Nines with Stan’s rims, booted up with tubeless Specialized Fasttraks–Leadville is basically a road race on dirt and light, skinny tires are called for.

Carter: Is there any other item that you’ve chosen that stands out in your mind as a must have?

Hill: One key item for me is Ergon grips (like my hero Dave Wiens) with carbon bar ends, a hand and back saver when climbing for hours on end.  And a Catyeye speedo with heart rate so I can attempt to keep my heart rate in a reasonable range.

There you have it people.  If you would like to follow Hill and the rest of the participants of the Leadville 100, the event will be web cast live at 5:45am on August 15th.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Don permalink
    August 5, 2009 11:12 pm

    Ride fast, Hill! I’m sure you’ll have a great time despite the inevitable suffering.

  2. Mary Ann permalink
    August 5, 2009 11:21 pm

    I’ll be in the area that weekend, I’ll go support Hill and ATX for sure! Didn’t know about the lottery, cool that he got in.

  3. January 17, 2010 8:33 am

    Sorry, aber das bezweifel ich ganz stark…Baer

  4. January 17, 2010 7:54 pm

    Das htte ich nun gar nicht gedacht. Hast du dazu weitere Quellen? Gru Wschbeckenunterschrank

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