Stage five of the 2010 Breck Epic started with a warning that it would be the hardest climbing stage thanks to it’s maximum altitude of over 12,500 feet. In actuality, while tough, it went by quicker than the two previous stages (for me, anyway), and had some really big descents to make up for the more than 1,000 vertical feet of hike a bike trudging.
On the first climb of the last day, just before entering the singletrack, we passed by this old mining structure. Dickie caught and passed me before I could get the camera turned on, and this photo turned out better than one with some random riders in the foreground anyway.
More pics after the break…
Shown here is just past the first aid station during stage five, and the start of where most riders begin pushing their rigs skyward. Peter from Misfit Psycles caught up to me as I pulled out the camera and gave his typical ‘smile for the camera.’ if you look past that, he actually is smiling. Look past that (click to enlarge) and you can just make out the riders stair stepping up the goat path on the mountainside.
At the top of the climb, before heading down the backside of the mountain on some rocky singletrack.
Topped out just over 12,500 feet on the first climb of the day. Note the time and total distance…nothing like a 5.5mph average to kick things off!
After the dirt and rock, we hopped on the rec path to bridge the gap from trail to trail, and if you’re lucky you got into a pace line. Despite passing him on the downhill and his singlespeed bike (and getting on the tail end of three faster riders), Peter caught me soon after we jumped back on a fire road and I had to chase him all the way to the finish, passing him on the last descent into the finish chute.
Stage Six, the final stage, was much shorter and quicker, so I didn’t stop to take any trail side photos other than the one at the top o this post, but it had some of the best singletrack of the week for sure.
At the finish on the last day. From left to right, the Bikerumor Media Cup competitors were: Me (Tyler), Peter Keiller, Jordan Carr, Shannon Boffeli, Sara Uhl, Jasen Thorpe, some dude that wanted to put his arm around a sweaty Dickie, and Dickie (aka Rich Dillen). Photo credit goes to Ross Schnell.
At the end of the race, Shannon took the cup despite our best efforts to throw him off the mantle created by thoroughly dusting us all each and every day. Even when he missed a special challenge entirely at dinner (during which I made a jerk of myself…yeah, I admit it), his racing results kept him well in the lead. Here’s how it broke down:
Shannon: 58 points
The Solo Singlespeed podium, with Peter infringing on the talented peoples’ space. He got louder and more obnoxious as the night went on (and the more everyone drank).
The Solo Men Open podium held a number of Cannondale racers, led by Jeremiah Bishop, and possibly in the bathroom was Schnell, who raced himself back into XC form and finished in fifth overall, almost taking the stage win on stage five (we all wanted to see him get it, but JB passed him at the last second).
If you want detailed race reports, check out Shannon’s website, MTBRaceNews.com, and for complete results, look at the Breck Epic website. What we like here, which you’ve probably figured out by now, is the bikes. On the trail, what we noticed the most were, in no particular order, Ellsworth, Niner, Specialized, Santa Cruz and Gary Fisher bikes. There were a couple Treks, two Sirens (one of which was ridden by 65 year old Wendy Skean, who finished the race every day!), and various other bikes. Interestingly, the only Cannondales present were those raced by their pro riders who virtually swept the podium, and even some locals commented that you don’t see many of them around. There was one Niner Air Carbon with a Lefty Fork, though, which looked pretty sick.