After taking 3rd at the Blueprint for Athletes Tahoe Trail MTB and 11th at the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 MTB in 2016, Ted King is returning to Tahoe. The retired pro roadie — whose professional career spanned from 2006-2015 — continues exploring the world and putting out the vibe on and off two wheels. He took some time between travels to talk Tahoe tips, Leadville prep and advice for roadies and first-timers hitting the trails.
What made you decide to race the Tahoe Trail MTB again this year?
I had a blast last year and I’m excited to come back. I don’t spend a ton of time racing mountain bikes, but I still like to ride fast, so given that the Lake Tahoe area is awesome, it was a no-brainer to come back.
Who’s your biggest competition?
Hmm, beats me. Levi Leipheimer and Dave Wiens beat me across the line last year. Levi is coming back from a major injury but back riding; Dave is always fast. Jesse Anthony, Ryan Steers, there’s no shortage of talent!
What should first-time racers expect?
First-timers should expect a hot, dry, fast day! We’re up at altitude so drink a lot. Heck, you can hardly drink enough.
How would you say the Tahoe course compares to the Leadville Trail 100 MTB?
Tahoe is a great prep race for Leadville. Obviously a bit shorter, but still that flat out, high altitude speed. Lots of tough climbing just like you’ll see at Leadville, so this is an awesome prep race.
What advice do you have for riders looking to improve their Leadville corral placement?
What tips do you have for roadies thinking about trying mountain biking?
This is a great course for roadies. The technical sections aren’t too gnarly, and there are plenty of spots to just crank out the speed. Yeah, still lots of places to test your ability, so word to the wise is to stay within your limits if you’re new to off-road racing.
What other events are on your calendar for the year?
Dirty Kanza and Belgian Waffle Rides both went incredibly well this year right up to some very untimely flat tires. So those are back on the 2018 plan. I have Breck Epic on the calendar, and a sponsor asked me to join the Haute Route Pyrenees which sounds exquisite. I host the King Challenge back home in New England everyone October too which is nothing but a blast. Lots of pop up rides, sponsor product launches, weeks with inGamba, and everything in between.
Care to line up with Ted? Join us at the 2017 Tahoe Trail MTB, and make sure you catch the pre-ride to meet him and ask whatever other race questions you have. See the event schedule for details.
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