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Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge Summary and Thoughts

Overall route map for Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge

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.

Power in watts, heart rate, elevation profile for Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge (2012)
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