• Breck-Epic Stage Race: Stage 6 (Gold Dust)

    Breck-Epic: Gold Dust StageFinal stage went about as expected. Legs actually felt pretty chipper considering that yesterday they felt like poo poo. The stage today was short...only 34 miles or so. I knew the pace would be stupid fast.....and it was. I basically went as hard as I could today....day 7 of racing for me.

    Breck-Epic: Gold Dust StageThe roll out from the start was chill....until the pace vehicle pulled off. Once the pace started creeping up, my legs filled up with lead. I knew it was going to take a while to get the legs going, so I rode my own pace. I had numerous riders blow by....only to have me catch them again shortly up the trail. Just before the 2nd singletrack climb, I caught back up to Harlan Price...and was able to gap him off. I soon found myself riding solo chasing after a small group of 4 riders...one rider being Garth Prosser.

    Breck-Epic: Gold Dust StageBy the time we got to Boreas Pass Rd for the ride to the summit, I caught Garth.

    Breck-Epic: Gold Dust StageNow onto Boreas Pass Rd., it was a gradual dirt road climb up to the summit. Here I was joined by a few riders....only to be dropped. By legs where thrashed! I kept the RPM high and kept chasing. By the time I got the summit, I was alone in all directions. I got to the Gold Dust trail and course marshall yelled that I was 5 minutes back from the leaders!

    Knowing the Gold Dust trail like the back of my hand, I let go of the brakes. On the decent I caught Garth....and dropped him. Next rider I caught was Kip Biese. I rode with him on some non-passing singletrack...only to be joined by Garth and Harlan Price. Harlan got around...then I did. We popped out onto a dirt road. Here was a switch back gravel climb back to Boreas Pass Rd. Riding in a group with Harlan Price, we picked up 3 or 4 other riders. With a headwind smacking us in the face we pushed on. I was working pretty good to keep in the group. Once the road pitched up I lost contact. I was now alone to climb to the summit of Boreas Pass. Off in the distance I saw another Cannondale Factory Rider and Blake Harlan of Team Jamis. I bridged up to the Cannondale rider....he was riding on a blown out Lefty. He got on my wheel and I pulled him over the summit.

    With the trail pointing down to Breckenridge and finish, I peg'd it to catch Blake Harlan...and the Cannondale rider who didn't stop at the top for a feed. Half way down, I caught up to them. With one final singletrack decent I entered the trail with the 2 riders....only to be gapped off as I was bouncing off the tail which had 8 inch high sides.

    Gold Dust Stage HR & Elev.I would ride into the finish just behind a few riders for 14th place. Today's stage was completed in 2 hrs and 28 minutes....super fast day!

    Final GC result for the Breck-Epic for me is 13th overall. Note to self....don't race 50 miles the day before a stage race ever again. Ha!

    Race note: I made it through the Firecracker 50 and the 6 days of the Breck-Epic with no mechanical issues....no mis-shifts....no flat tires. That is a true testament to great sponsor equipment!