From Ken Winston:
This is one tough race!!! The routes are so taxing. Big (giant) climbs in lowest gear followed by ripping descents or fast twisty single track with close by trees that if you have a lapse in concentration you will clip with your handlebars and crash hard. Never a rest for 4 hours every day! Ugh 😑 hard to take a drink or nutrition. Today I did not eat enough and bonked with 13 miles to go. Finished in 4th, which is a disappointment
Stage 2 report:
It was another hard fought battle for me today. As I did in stage 1, my focus was on trying to finish in front of my Breck friend Mike Driver who finished 2nd in 50+ last year. Mike is a fast starter and a better climber than I so I quickly lost track of him after the start (which consists of a 5 mile climb). Eleven miles into the 42 mile stage I spotted him at the first aid station. We rode within sight of each other for the next 29 miles. Each fire road climb he pulled away but never more than 30 sec. each decent or winding single track through the woods I would quickly real him in but due to the nature of the trails I chose not to pass. I patiently waited for the right opportunity. With one 800 foot climb to go (on mostly fire road) I new I needed to stay close to have a chance to catch Mike and pass him on the descent to the finish. I turned myself inside out to hold his wheel for the first 600 foot of the climb. The last 200 feet of the climb was on single track where I seemed to have an advantage all day. At the 600 foot point, I pushed past Mike and ramped up the effort slightly. Much to my surprise, the effort appeared to crack his resolve and I pulled away to a 1:30 min margin by the finish! I got 3rd place on the stage. As a bonus, I got closer to Michael Hagen in 2nd place on this stage (4 minutes margin on stage 2 vs. 11 minutes on stage 1). Now time to recover so I can try again tomorrow, and the next day, and.....
This is a six day stage race that starts and finishes each day in Breckenridge, Colorado.
This year they had a 50+ cat 1 and cat 2 instead of one 50+ class. There were 15 in the cat 1 class. There were three big gnarly climbs on this stage each topping out at 11,300 feet elevation. Each one steep, technical and very long. These climbs served to soften up my legs and caused me to cramp. I had a goal this year to finish ahead of last year's second-place finisher Mike Driver. With about 5 miles left in the 35 mile stage I spotted Mike on the switchback below me about 20 seconds ahead. This sighting lit a fire in me and I forgot about how tired I was or that my legs were seeming up. I and another rider (not in my class) quickly moved up to behind Mike. The other rider, who was between Mike and I tried to pass mike and they each bobbled to opposite sides of the trail. This allowed me to squirt by. I hoped Mike did not notice that it was me. No such luck. It was game on. We battled back and forth on exhausted legs riding with XC short track intensity. With 30 sec left in the stage Mike made a mistake going wide on a downhill bermed switch back. That was the opening I needed to get in front of him on a trail that was otherwise impossible to pass on. I cross the finish line ahead of him for the last podium spot (3rd) with his front tire rubbing on my rear tire!
Hi team, passing along Ken's race report from Stage One of the Brec Epic in Breckenridge, Colorado. This is a six day stage race that starts and finishes each day in Breckenridge, Colorado. This year we have three from our Mountain Bike Team;