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Monday, August 12, 2013

Nosebleeds, blurred vision — nothing could stop Sally Bigham this year | VeloNews

Sally Bigham celebrates her victory and course record. Photo: Sam Wells |
LEADVILLE, Colo. (VN) — Maybe she’d have won last year, without that wrong turn. It’s one of those unanswerable questions now, the truth buried somewhere under miles of Colorado dirt roads.
But thankfully, Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon) doesn’t have to wonder what could have been any more. She thrashed the Leadville course and her competitors on Saturday in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB’s 20th edition, taking the course record from the woman who beat her last year, Specialized’s Rebecca Rusch, by more than 10 minutes. She finished in 7:17:01.
“This year, I knew that I could have been at least five minutes faster. But after being sent off course last year, it really stressed me out,” she said.
“I stopped drinking and got stressed and panicked trying to make the time back up. By making that mistake — on this course you can’t stop eating and drinking. It’s disaster. Last year wasn’t good for me because of that.
“This year in my head I knew I could go at least 10 minutes faster. On my course profile, I marked the split times of where I wanted to be at what time … I wanted to be 10 minutes faster than last year, which would have broken the course record. But in fact I was quite a lot faster than last year. I was ahead of schedule at all of the splits, so I knew everything was going well.”
That’s not to say Saturday was without problems. The altitude affects Bigham strongly. If she tries to do intervals here in training, she gets nosebleeds; on the Columbine climb, up to 12,500 feet, she got blurred vision.


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