Join the Rusch - Leadville Experience - Pipeline
Learning from simply the best, the "Queen of Pain."
The Leadville 100 is no small endurance feat. Racing your mountain bike at 10,000+ feet is ridiculous to most people but a "Bring It On" challenge to others. Riders enter this race for many reasons but mainly to test themselves adjusted any limits. They spend all year focusing and preparing for this event. Most enlist the expertise of a coach to get them through the many weeks and miles of training required to get to the start line which includes going to a qualifier or being lucky enough to get in through the lottery.
In steps Rebecca Rusch, she is a four time winner of the Leadville 100 and a World Champion to boot. She knows endurance racing, specially she know the Leadville 100 course inside and out. She knows where you can gain speed, lose speed and simply lose it all together. The race is filled with challenges around every corner. The beast will wear you down from the St Vrain climb, to Powerline, the infamous Columbine climb, but Pipeline which is the midsection of the course often times gets over looked because there is not a lot of vertical gain. It may be remembered because it does contain a section single track. In many ways, this section can make or brake your race; this is where you want to be mentally tough, trying to hook up with other riders to draft, take on board some fuel and hydration as well as prepare for what lies ahead in either direction.
The stars and planets aligned during the last few days for about thirty or so riders to get Rebecca's insights on each section of the course. They rode the sections individually.
The following is a photo essay of some of the riders on the Pipeline section of single track.
If you look closely you'll see riders on the hillside coasting down the single track portion of Pipeline. Standing in the distance I could hear the buzzing of the finely tuned freewheels and the occasional coaching words of Rebecca encouraging riders to let the bikes roll.
The riders were all smiles and thumbs up today but I'm sure Rebecca has coached them on the game face for race day. Not that there is anything wrong about smiling while riding.
Early morning ride with the "Queen of Pain" what could be better a few days before the big day.
Lisa (aka The Hammer) is looking forward to race day where she will ride under 9hrs. I look forward to seeing that smile come across the finish line along with her coach Rebecca.
The 'Queen of Pain" in her in element - Sharing the Leadville Experience!
The Leadville 100 is a big race in a huge playground. Enjoy the journey and the scenery.
Something tells me that one of the riding tips today was to ride relaxed.
After a short but effective pep talk the group saddled back up to return to the Pipeline feed zone.
Reba is shepherding her team up the singletrack climb which seems like no big deal except...
the climb is relentless, it just keeps pitching upward. The track has enough little twists and turns to take you off course if you are not paying attention.
Just a few more corners to go before the false summit. OUCH.
The views are grand no matter where you look on this course. If these riders can mimic Rebecca's pedaling style they will certainly come out ahead. Smooth and powerful.
Coaching tips and support from the "Queen of Pain."
More coaching and encouragement from Rebecca. There is no question when these riders are digging deep during the race remembering moments like these will be helpful. The "Queen of Pain" will be there right with you. You have earned yourself a coach and a fan.
Lots of determination gets these riders to where they are right now.
Riders in the sky!
These legs and World Champion stripes will be missed in the front row for the 2014 Leadville 100 but honestly they are serving a much greater purpose taking these riders up Pipeline and other course section this year. You are not only the "Queen of Pain" but also the "Queen of Hearts."