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;