I’ve updated my Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challange article to discuss riding conditions, fueling, how I wasted precious minutes that cost me 1st place, and a few other things.
I was the 1st finisher for the Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challange and I basked in the limelight... for 30 minutes. But as it turned out, one fast rider had left an hour later than I had, pushing me into 2nd place by nine (9) minutes, according to race organizers.
I analyzed my ride and came up with the following time losses that I could have avoided with no ill effects whatsoever. Most figures conservative estimates.
- Unnecessary dump-stop (poop) on last climb. Lost 2:51 (exactly). If you’re in the lead, hold that stinker, especially a minor one!
- Very slow descending east Monitor: Lost ~2:00.
- Slow descending Kingsbury Grade: Lost ~1:00
- Route check, minor deviation errors: 1:00.
- Dallying at aid stations (no benefit): 15:00.
That’s about 22 minutes of time I could have cut out with no loss of performance.
With proper fueling, the climb up east Monitor Pass should have been 5 minutes faster, at least. So I reckon 27 minutes are possible with only a bit smarter riding.
Also, it had been a long time since I had ridden these passes, and I wasn’t quite sure of the aid station locations (or rather the distances between them). Some optimization could be made there in terms of skipping some and definitely not skipping others.