Final stage of the Epic. We were 7 minutes out of third in the overall standings.
As Mike Mac puts it, today is the reward for the hell he put us through yesterday, and every day before that. Gold Dust is a loamy, curvy water channel on the other side of Boreas Pass. The turns are banked, and the trail is great fun. But to get there, we have to climb over Boreas. We started at the Ice Rink today. We had every intention to start at the front. But as per our usual M.O., we showed up a minute before the start. Stuart and I lined up with the overall 3rd place team at the back of the pack. But we needed to make up 7 minutes, so it wasn’t a neutral race. My legs felt more like their old self, so we hammered it right away, passing most of the field, and working our way up to the top quarter of the field. Today, we raced.
Coming back from The Gold Dust is a long, railroad-grade dirt road that climbs for 45 minutes. At the top is Aid 2, and then it’s downhill almost all the way home. We slowed down to share a PBR hand-up before heading home. On the way home, there is one section of trail in which the river essentially runs along it, down the middle. A couple years ago, I remember eating sh*t right into the river. So naturally, as we approached it, I thought, “Do NOT take a bath here again.”. But which line was the good one? Right or left? I chose right. Or wrong. I planted my front wheel into a large river rock and took another bath. Stuart had a good chuckle as he pulled up to find me sputtering Giardia-flavored mountain water.
The rest of the ride home was uneventful, but hectic, as we weren’t sure how much time we had on the third place. We finished 2nd on the day, just ahead of Dean (on a singelspeed) and Kyle.
Another Breck Epic in the books. The most Epic of weeks, ever. Leadville on Saturday. Breck Epic on Sunday-Friday. We started the week off in DFL, but got stronger and faster. The 7 minutes we needed to make up on Stage 6 was won and then some, as we ended up taking almost 30 minutes, and clawed our way back out of a huge hole for third in the overall. Riding with Stuart was awesome. We made a great team. Not the least of which because he didn’t ever complain about how much he had to wait for me the whole week. Stuart has taken it to another level this year. I’m pretty sure he’s doping.
It will be nice to not have to sit on a saddle for a good while. My ass needs a break.