Breck Epic Stage 3, Guyot Loop

15 08 2012

Breck Epic Stage 3 Elevation Profile

Breck Epic Stage 3 Elevation Profile

39 miles, 6518′ of vertical gain. The Guyot Loop is the first of three Queen stages.  The red hot poker you see on te elevation profile is the top of French Pass, which pokes out over 12,000′.   The climb to get there is predictably steep and rocky.  Well, above tree line the exposure was awesome. You can see a line of riders (hikers at that point) stretching out for a mile.

Ken, Andrew, and I decided to ride together since neither Andrew or I were  in contention, and Ken was well ahead of second place.  My legs still felt dead from the previous day, and I wasn’t sure I could hang.  But along the way, we stopped to do yoga on multiple occasions, which did wonders for my back.  By the time we topped out on French Pass, I felt like a new man.

The stage also features another piece of the Colorado Trail.  This section is fast at the top, and technical at the bottom.  With the previous day’s rain, the roots and rocks were especially sketchy.

We finished together and had a much better time of it than the day before, which was my worst day on a bike by a long shot.

Here is Ken’s recent post to friends and family:

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well where you are.  I’m half way through my annual pilgrimage through the forests and mountains around Breckenridge – also known as the Breck Epic.  After winning the Clydesdale crown (200 pounds or more) in 2010, then getting beaten out last year by a super-fit Ironman from British Columbia,  I decided I needed to come back and bring back the title to this side of the border.
We arrived Saturday evening and at the pre-race check-in there were 4 fat guys (a Texan, a local guy I didn’t know, another guy from BC, and me) ready to take the challenge.  Stage 1 is a particularly rocky stage that eats tires for dinner, as it did to me last year.   Unfortunately, there were many a victim this year, but I put brand new Maxxis Ikon tubeless tires on my bike this year, and they held up great.  I rode a pretty solid race, and whenever someone passed me I had to guess their weight.  A few guys that I saw looked close to my size, but no one was bigger.  I finished in over 4 hours, and felt OK about the day. Results are posted at the awards ceremonies are at 5pm, so I was not sure where I placed.  There were only 2 names listed in the Clydesdale category.  I was 1st, and a guy from Texas was 2nd, but he was over 2 hours behind me.  He broke the crank off of his bike and someone zip-tied it together to make it to the finish.  The other 2 guys did not even make it to the finish line.
Here is what a normal podium picture looks like:
Singlespeed Leader Macky Franklin, Brady Kappius 2nd, Dax Massey 3rd
This is what the Clydesdale podium picture looked like.  The other guy was too wiped out to make it to the ceremony.
 Clydesdale Podium Day 1
They posted the podium pictures on facebook http://www.facebook.com/breckepic, and last year’s winner posted a comment:
David Christopher Huntley Poor guy. I should have come back to defend my title. Give him some competition.
I guess he’s following the race.
With a big lead, I decided to ride with Jeff, be safe, and enjoy the great riding up here.  We woke up for Stage 2 and it was a little overcast, so we put on some arm warmers on the way out of Stuart and Jenn’s house in Breckenridge (thanks for the great accommodations!).  It started drizzling at the start, and unfortunately the rain got harder and harder throughout the day until the trails were rivers.  Luckily I packed a jacket in my aid station 1 drop bag, and kept warm enough.  I was lucky to have a lot more insulation than the average rider. This is what the singlespeed leader looked like.  I think I was muddier.
Photo: This is what the leader's jersey looks like after today's stage.
 When I made it to the awards ceremony after about 5 hours of riding, the guy from Texas had finished in about 10 hours, so my lead had grown substantially.
Here is a decent video of the stage from another rider: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYx1lFgaYBQ
Today was Stage 3.  Beautiful day.
Photo: Stage three is off under sunny skies.
Start Line – I’m not visible.
 Jeff and I rode together, and the other clydesdale came in only 5 minutes behind… maybe he’s getting warmed up.  Its too bad the Epic has torn apart the Clydesdale category, but we’re having a good time.
Sorry, that was more than I expected to send.  Better get some sleep.  Tomorrow is the biggest stage yet… and Max & Luke start 5th and 4th grades.
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