He may not be a pro in the traditional sense of the word. But as one of North America’s best known cycling coaches, it’s certainly interesting to see what Chris Carmichael will saddle up come race day at the 2011 Leadville 100.
The answer is a well-appointed, full-carbon Trek Top Fuel 9.9 that includes a wispy set of Bontrager Race XXX Lite wheels, 100mm of front and rear travel, and an SRM powermeter that will allow the coach to analyze his own performance.
“It’s going to be very interesting data,” said Carmichael, who will be contesting his sixth Leadville, and gunning to improve on his PR time of 8:45. “We’ll see things like total kilojoules (a rough approximation of total calories burned), and power degradation from bottom to the top of Columbine.”
Carmichael knows that the massive altitude gain will lower power output, but by how much is the question.
The other big question he faces has to do with his most famous client, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Le Boss said he won’t be showing up for Leadville this year even after winning a qualifier race two weeks ago in Crested Butte. But Carmichael won’t rule anything out.
“I have not talked to him in a while, but he tends to surprise people,” said the founder of Carmichael Training Systems, which will be supporting about 170 racers this Saturday. “If Lance does show up, I would be worried if I was one of the top mountain bikers who is gunning for the win. He doesn’t do things halfway very often.”