Learn the climb as best you can – spend a lot of time on it. Know landmarks, mileages. Draft all this down, then compile highlights onto an index card to keep with you to refer to help pull you along. For example, I know the first 6 miles you slog up the canyon. Then you hit switchbacks & it becomes easier. Then flat at Echo Lake to recover, then up & around Mt. Goliath. Then flat across the front section, downhill to Summit Lake, then the last 5 miles – crunch time! That’s how the mountain flows to me – go learn/drive that in a way that works for you.
Pace yourself from the very beginning. Above 12,000 feet it only gets more difficult.
Try riding above 12,000 at least once before the HC to know how your body responds. Stick with really easy to digest foods, maybe just liquid nutrition. The altitudes will make the heartiest feel queasy!
Pacing and hydration are the keys. The first time I rode this race, I drank like I would on my usual 1.5 hour weekday ride with 2000 feet of gain. Big mistake! I didn’t drink enough and cramped really badly the last few miles. Pacing is important because there are not many places to recover on this climb.
Remember to: drink your fluids; save some for the last 5 miles; stay in your aerobic zone, and don’t give in!
Train steadily, riding whatever hills are relatively close to your home on a frequent basis. Learn to keep your pedal revolutions fairly fast. Learn to anticipate gear changes. Hydrate well and eat sensibly. Keep your weight down, without dieting. Get plenty of sleep. Make sure your bike is in great shape a couple of weeks before the race. Don’t change the fit or alter the gearing immediately beforehand. Realize that there will be an enormous variety of cyclists on the road, with a wide range of skills. Vow to hold your line, as many others will not.
Don’t get discouraged when the air gets thin. There really is an end.
Don’t get caught up in a frenzied start. Relax and settle in to a group you can ride with.
The first time I rode Mt. Evans was 1973. I started off way too fast!! I was only about half way and ran out of gas!! Pace yourself, slow down keep your energy for the last 5 miles, the air is very thin, also drink plenty of water.