Today's stage was a good one! About 40 miles and 5,600 ft of climbing on some of Summit County best trails. The last 2 years I raced the 6 day race here at the BE. This year, Mike added a 3-day offering, and this fit in nicely with work and travel associated with supporting Topeak-Ergon team riders at the Leadville 100 all last week.
This year has the biggest field ever for the BE. A lot of strong riders locally, from the USA, Costa Rica, and Europe. Looking at the 3-Day Open Men field there are some strong riders. Jorge from Boulder (top local road racer), Yuki (teammate), and some others. My goal is to get podium spots here over the 3 days. Ride hard....test my personal limits.....let the race play out...build some speed fitness.
Today at the start I hit the front soon after we hit the first dirt road climb. Behind me, Travis Brown, Josh Tostado, Kevin Kane, and others....if I recall correctly. I stayed on the front until a few other rider felt the need to 'up' the pace. I maintained, but not enough to keep with the lead group. Soon Yuki bridged up to me.....rode on my wheel for a bit.....then went on his quest to catch Jorge and the possible win. I would not see Jorge or Yuki the rest of the day as I chased these 2 strong riders.
The remainder of the stage, I would ride in the top 10 or 15 of the 6-Day field.....mostly alone A lot of strong riders, as I said before. First rider I came upon on the Westridge CT climb, was a guy I rode with at the DDC before he dropped me on his SS going up Bolam Pass. Today he was geared. I bridged up to him....but wasn't able to get past until he bobbled on rooty section. Thought for sure he would be back on my ass shortly...but didn't see this strong rider the rest of the day. Kip Biese was in my sights all the second half of the ride. Wasn't able to get away from him until the end. He was killing the DH sections of the trail! In the final miles, I was caught by two 6-Day riders, Sam from Epic Endurance and I believe Nick Truitt from Yeti. Both rider rode a consistent race to get me at the end.
Overall, I felt good all race. I finished 3rd overall in the 3-Day race. Yuki took the win! Only 2 more days to go....and both stages are burly. Going to be some good racing in all categories!
HR and GPS data posted on Strava.