We're leaving for Leadville early tomorrow morning. Gulp. I know this sounds goofy, but I'm already having a difficult time sleeping. It's possible that I'm too fired up for this race. Here's how everyone I know is going to do:
Kenny - Kenny is recovering from a broken hip and a broken collarbone that required surgery. Last year he finished in second place in the singlespeed category, and I think he's headed for a similar result. 8:42, 3rd in singlespeed.
Actual finish: 8:31:31, 2nd place singlespeed
Brad - Brad is in excellent shape yet again, but he won't beat Kenny. 8:50, 5th in singlespeed.
Actual finish: 9:21:11, bad day for him
Racer - Racer usually drops out of this race, but I think this is his year. 8:28, 32nd place overall.
He dropped out again, bless his heart
Gary - Gary is riding so strong he's faster than Dug was last year at this time. He'll be riding a singlespeed. I think he'll do something Dug has never done -- finish Leadville with only one gear. 11:11.
Actual finish: 10:53:06, a very Dug-like performance, only faster
Rick S. - Rick is looking strong climbing, but he's sketchy on the downhills. 9:04.
Actual finish: 9:21:11, broken chain
Chucky - I haven't ridden with Chucky this year, but I hear he's strong. 7:35, 8th place overall.
Actual finish: 7:44:31, 12th place
Nick - Nick did a grueling 5-day mountain bike race in Canada a month ago, and he looks fit and skinny. He lives in Seattle, so there's always the possibility that the altitude can mess him up. I don't think so. 9:14.
Actual finish: 10:59:34, pale face
Elden - Elden says he hasn't been training, but that just means he isn't being coached like last year. He's still a much stronger rider than I am, singlespeed or no. 11:11.
Actual finish: 10:06:42, wow
Me - I'm feeling more fit than I was last year, and I'll be riding a faster bike. Elden's Superfly broke, but Racer's wife Marin was kind enough to loan me hers. Can you believe she'd loan a $4,000 bike to someone she's never met? Since it's a loaner, I'll probably take extra risks because I don't care if I break someone else's bike, so I'll end up crashing. DNF.
Actual finish: 11:22:44, no crashes, no near crashes
Dave Wiens - I don't know him. He's won this race the last five years, he owns the course record, and he beat Floyd Landis last year. But he's 43 years old. 7:17, 3rd place.
Actual finish: 6:45:45, 1st place overall
Lance - I think there's going to be too much of a gap between what he used to do on a bike and what he does now. His muscle memory will lead him astray. DNF.
Actual finish: 6:47:41, 2nd place overall
But I disagree on yours - you'll finish, I can feel it.
I wonder if Lance's pose already has some ready-made excuses for Mellow Johny when he pulls the plug? If he shows at all.