The Training Paid Off

The Training Paid Off
Leadville 101 MTB 2022 written Vanessa Fiorentino
Finally getting around to posting a summary of Leadville. The LT100 was a bucket list race for me. I’ve been MTBing for 25+ years, racing for 10 and coaching NICA for the last 6. The thought of a 105mile race seemed like such stretch a year ago but I loved the idea of setting a lofty goal. And Paul was on board. I can’t stress enough how important that was knowing the commitment involved.
The training began immediately after my acceptance in January. I went out hard, overtrained and crashed metaphorically. Twice. Smartened up and hired a coach who kept me on pace.
I rode with so many great people in amazing places: So Cal, Moab, Costa Rica and of course Michaux!
The race was hard, as expected, but I never felt like I wouldn’t make it. The training paid off! I passed o-+n climbs and descents. The only time I walked was a traffic jam near the top of Columbine. The flats were hard. Finding others to work with and hanging on. That's where the roadies gained a lot of ground. The headwinds in the return were brutal. It's more like a gravel than MTB race but with plenty of scenery, it was too rough and rutted for a gravel bike. I found it hard to eat solid food and mainly stuck with SIS and Roctane. Taping to the top tube is genius. (Thanks Todd). My crew was awesome. Ready to clean my chain, spray me with sunscreen, take my trash and load me up with food.
About 65% of the racers entered made it to the finish. Of the 51 women in my age group, 27 finished and I was 5th, finishing in 10 hrs 26 min. - I’m happy with that!


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