A FEW IN THE ALLIANCE ARE DOING LOTOJA next weekend.  The training is done, nothing to do now but taper, recover, travel, and...

... go over the strategy.

Here's how I did it,
and what I'd do different.

At just over 200 miles,
it is the longest sanctioned USAC race in the country.

Fueling is the biggest issue.

I'd have something solid for breakfast.  Back in 2017, I started my day off with a can of sardines and half a can of black beans.  Whatever you choose, I'd get some protein and fat in, along with calories.

Because of the altitude, I would stick with a 1 bottle/hour strategy.  In that bottle, I've have 250-300 calories.  Plus, I would eat something solid for another 150 calories.  I'd stay away from gels, mainly because they don't do me right.

That's 400 calories an hour.

How to get the fuel in, and when.

You'll want a disposable feed bag with supplies to get you from stop to stop...

... toss your bottles and trash, and grab you bag without stopping (assuming you have support).


There are multiple sections at each feed zone.  Coordinate with your team, and be vigilant of knuckleheads coming in and out.  Stupid place to crash, and it will happen...

... but not to you!

Load your bottles and pockets, toss bag responsibly.

My team met me at Montpelier, Afton and Alpine.  I took neutral support at Wilson - liquid, I had food.

Now for pacing.

Ideally, you will never touch the front of the group until the finish line.

That's the dream,
it's not gonna happen.

Here's how it will likely go down.

Everyone will be all geeked up, and roll out fairly fast.  Nobody will be feeling pain, because they are all ready and rested.  Let the bunnies do their thing, stay in the top 15 riders...

... only go to the front if you are simply rolling through.

Spend no time up there.
Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies will do the work.

The first climb around Preston, will hurt a bit...

... because bunnies still be fresh.

Hang on, without killing yourself.
You'll want to be drafting over to the start of the Strawberry climb.

It's a long climb,
not as hard as it looks on the map.

Bunnies will blow,
go your pace,
push the top.

The drop to Montpelier is fun and fast,
you won't want to be alone and you
won't want to wait for slow climbers.

At this point, you pretty much know who you'll be riding with the rest of the day...

... except for one thing.

Those who skip the early calories are gonna start to suffer.
Not you!

With luck, you'll be with a good group,
have a working pace line,
and maybe a bunny.

Let that bunny work.


The start can be cold. 

Tubesocks with toes cut out for your arms,
newspaper inside the jersey for chest,
are likely all you need.

Dispose of responsibly - Preston.

Make sure your team is carrying rain and cold weather gear.  
It's high altitude and things change fast,
stay warm.

The only thing I would do different,
is familiarize myself with the competitors,
and not foul up the finish like I did here:

LoToJa is truly a oneofakind experience.
Highly recommend.

If you win this year, you'll be getting one of these RaceDay wallets... with a top secret code for a special RaceDay Bag™.

  • 400 calories an hour
  • Stay off the front
  • Know thy enemy


7 hrs
PushUps, PullUps, Squats
20 minutes recovery
60 minutes reading + Journaling