For the past decade, Neil Beltchenko has competed in some of the most infamous bikepacking races in the world. These include the Iditarod Trail Invitational, which he won in 2018, and the Arizona Trail 300, which he’s won multiple times. He’s also ridden and completed the Colorado Trail six times and set a course record on it in 2016.
In spite of these accomplishments, however, he tells Adventure Stache podcast host Payson McElveen that he never starts a race with a win or a record in mind, nor does he expect to be the fastest. In this interview, he joins Payson just days after winning the 2021 Colorado Trail Race. He talks about why he keeps returning to the CT, the moment in this year’s race that he almost turned back, and the off-the-bike physical preparation to which he attributes his consistent success and surprising lack of long-term injuries. They also a chat a little bit about the gear he brought along, but make sure to tune into our YouTube channel for a more in-depth video gear list tomorrow.
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