Race Report: Breckenridge 68Jeff Kerkove 7:21 AM
Pre-race interview at the start line with Sonya Looney
4,268 ft of climbing
My lap time: 3 hr 00 min
At 10 AM the raced rolled out of Breckenridge up Boreas Pass Rd. The start was led out by a pace car. The pace was mellow and I rode at the front, keeping the competition (Honey Stinger/Trek riders) in my sights. The pace was pretty chill for the most part until we got to the last paved turn leading to the singletrack...then I went for it. I settled into my pace and hit the singletrack first. Right behind me was 2 Honey Stinger riders and a guy in a white jersey...who I would find out is from Fort Collins and named Mike. I would ride about 5 minutes at the front.....and then the Honey Stingers took off guns-a-blaze'n. I had no reason to chase them and push the red line. We were 4 miles into a 68 mile race....lots of racing left. Myself and Mike watched them push up the trail. We simply rode along with one other rider in tow from team Rocky Mountain Racing. We pushed through the course....mostly jeep road at this point riding as a group of 3. It wasn't until the Colorado Trail, that I separated myself from the 2 riders with me. Knowing the trail well, I pushed the pace up the long climb. I got a good gap....but saw Mike fighting to get back on my wheel. Sure enough, once to the top, Mike was right back behind me. We would ride together the rest of the way back into Carter Park to finish Loop 1 with no sight of the leaders.
4,321 ft of climbing
My lap time: 3 hr 18 min
At the start of lap 2, I stopped at the Ergon pit we had laid out in the park. I grabbed 1 bottle of PowerBar Endurance, 2 bottles of water, electrolytes, and fresh gel flask.
As I rolled out of Carter Park and up Boreas Pass Rd, I sucked on the large bottle of water I grabbed during my pit. With a course change this year, I got in as much nutrition as I could before we started a new climb up Boreas Pass. This new route was a steep and loose jeep road...which we rode last year in the Breck Epic Stage Race. Mike was still with me at this point. We hit the base of the climb together. Soon after the climb started, my legs got pretty heavy for about 15 minutes. In those bad 15 minutes, Mike got away from me....I would not see him again until the finish line. Knowing Mike had a motor on him from riding with him on Loop 1, I keep digging for every little ounce of power I could muster....hoping I might be able to get back to Mike at some point. It never happened as I pushed over the pass......down the Gold Dust Trail.....into Como, CO.....and then back up to Boreas Pass and back down to Breckenridge. I would spend 90% of Loop 2 riding solo...chasing 3rd place overall.
I never caught 3rd place overall, as I covered the 68 miles in 6 hours and 18 minutes.....9,000 ft climbed. Good enough for 4th overall and 3rd in the 30-39 Age Group.
Proof my heart was working during the event.