Firecracker 50 headlines Fourth of July in Breckenridge |

Firecracker 50 headlines Fourth of July in Breckenridge

A flurry of mountain bikers begin the 2022 Firecracker 50 mountain bike race on Monday, July 4, in downtown Breckenridge. Over 1,000 competitors raced on the annual 50-mile course including many who are local to Summit County.
John Hanson/Courtesy photo

When it comes to the Fourth of July in Summit County, there are plenty of time-honored traditions, like the parades down Frico’s Main Street, skiing down the Fourth of July Bowl, afternoon hikes and listening to live music while enjoying food and drinks. 

However, some may argue that one of the most popular traditions in Breckenridge on the Fourth of July is the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race. 

The race has an iconic start as patriotic riders line their bikes up at the starting line of the Breckenridge Fourth of July parade route along Main Street. 

Over 1,000 competitors were sent on their way in waves until 10 a.m. when Main Street was filled with festive floats. The pro/open division was the first group to pedal off the starting line, climbing into the hills of Breckenridge and into the trail-ridden backcountry. 

Competitors completed a two-lap course with 4,000 feet of elevation gain for a quad-crushing 8,000 total feet.

In the men’s pro/open division, 23-year-old Eric Brunner and Summit’s Lasse Konecny battled for first place. It was Konecny who completed the first 25-mile lap, clocking a time of 1 hour, 52 minutes and 44 seconds. 

Brunner quickly followed Konecny, finishing his first lap a second behind the younger Konecny in a time of 1:52:45. On the second lap Brunner, of Boulder, gapped Konecny and finished his second lap in a time of 1:51:32 for a total time of 3:44:17.

The time was enough for Brunner to win the Firecracker 50 pro/open division while Konecny finished in second place in a time of 3:45:18

“I am super happy as to how the race ended,” Konecny said. “I definitely wanted to finish first but wasn’t able to bridge that gap. Overall, I felt pretty happy with how the race went.”

Like Brunner, Konecny, 18, also had a faster second lap. He finished 10 seconds ahead of his first lap with a time of 1:52:34.

Summit’s Lasse Konecny navigates a trail during the 2022 Firecracker 50 mountain bike race on Monday, July 4. Konecny, 18, placed second in the men pro/open division finishing in a time of 3:45:18.
John Hanson/Courtesy photo

“I felt pretty happy to race on the Fourth here,” Konecny said. “Both laps felt pretty consistent. It was a really tough course, but conditions were really ideal.”

Kyle Trudeau finished behind Konecny in third place, finishing in 3:46:59.

Ruth Winder won the title in the women’s pro/open division, finishing in a time of 4:43:45, which was enough to beat out second place by almost 4 minutes.

Winder was followed by Jessica Mullins of Littleton and Jessi Young who placed second and third, respectively. 

In the expert men’s 45- to 49-year-old division, Kenneth O’Donnell led the way, placing first in a time of 4:24:58. O’Donnell also completed the fastest lap in his division, completing 25-miles in 2:09:25. 

Breckenridge resident Ezekiel Hersh finished second in the expert men’s 45- to 49-year-old division, clocking a time of 4:33:16. While representing Pit Viper Racing and Honey Stinger, Hersh completed his first lap in 2:12:58 and his second in 2:20:18. 

Rounding out the top 10 in the expert men’s 45- to 49-year-old age division, four Summit County locals placed six through nine. Chad Hanley placed sixth, Bill Frielingsdorf placed seventh, Duke Barlow placed eighth and Paul Krummen placed ninth. 

Summit County had its next podium finish in the expert men’s 60-plus-year-old division when Summit High School cross country coach Michael Hagen placed third overall in a time of 5:17:15. 

Hagen raced under the Summit Distance Project team name and split 2:30:03 on his first lap and 2:47:13 on his second. 

Preceding Hagen was Todd Brown of San Clemente in first place and Craig Hofer of Littleton in second place. 

In the men singlespeed division, Jeffrey Rank of Breckenridge finished his first lap in third place and didn’t let his competitors get past him on the second lap to finish third overall in a time of 5:36:11. 

Prior Lake, Minnesota local, Jonathan Falkowski finished second in the men’s singlespeed division, and Mark Nesline placed first. Nesline finished in a time of 4:41:04 which was over 14 minutes ahead of Falkowski.

In the sport men’s 16- to 29-year-old and sport women’s 16- to 39-year-old age divisions, Summit locals earned three top 10 finishes, including one podium finish.

Jessica Hoover of Breckenridge earned her spot on the podium by finishing the 50-mile course in a time of 7:13.35, which was enough for second place. 

In the sport men’s 16- to 29-year-old division race, Zachary Russell of Breckenridge placed fifth while David Hughes of Silverthorne placed sixth. Russell also ran in the Independence Day 10K trail race and skied the Fourth of July Bowl all in the same day. 

Boulder’s Vanessa Carmean races the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race on Monday, July 4. Carmean competed in the expert women’s 16- to 29-years-old age division and placed eighth overall in a time of 6:39:36.
John Hanson/Courtesy photo

The race was rounded out by the duo men, women and co-ed team relay races. The Bear National Team of Breckenridge won the men’s relay race in a time of 3:48:29, and the CTS Flyers won the women’s relay race in a time of 4:53:44. Team Bear 28 won the co-ed relay race in a time of 4:09:29. 

The Breckenridge Recreation Department will host its next mountain bike race on Wednesday, July 13. The race will be the third race in the Summit Mountain Challenge Mountain Bike race series and will take place on the trails surrounding Swan Mountain. Registration is open and can be found at

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