At Breck Epic Stage 2, women’s pro leader out after broken collarbone, Bishop extends men’s pro lead
The 2018 Breck Epic multi-stage mountain bike race continued on Monday with the second stage of the six- and three-day competitions: the 43-mile Colorado Trail loop.
On the 7,200-foot elevation gain course — the second-most total gain overall of any singular day of the entire Epic event — three-time Breck Epic champion Jeremiah Bishop (Bishop Canyon Topeak Factory Racing) extended his lead over the rest of the 18-rider Men’s Pro division by more than three minutes, to a margin of four minutes and 52 seconds.
In the nine-rider Women’s Pro division, Amy Beisel (Orange Seal) technically extended her lead over the rest of the pack from just under five minutes after Sunday’s Stage 1 to just under 20 minutes after Monday’s Stage 2. Due to a broken collarbone sustained about 5 miles from the finish on Monday, Beisel is out of the race for the remaining four days.
Beisel’s injury occurred when she clipped a tree, sending her sailing over her handlebars. She trooped on through the end of the course, however, and is set to undergo surgery on Wednesday. Beisel’s Stage 2 time on Monday (04:04:38.7) would have placed her ahead of five of the male pro riders on Monday.
With Beisel, the clear frontrunner, out of the race, Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop) assumed the overall Women’s Pro lead at a total time of 05:56:54.6 after she posted a Stage 2 time of 04:19:38.9 on Monday. Williams’ overall time put her more than 24 minutes ahead of the new second-place rider Katrina Engelsted of Boulder Cycle Sport (06:21:15.8).
Of the open divisions, the tightest race after Stage 2 was in the 13-rider Solo Men 50+ Category 1 age group, with just 11.6 seconds separating first and second place. Riding for Team W.I.F.E., Darren Cox’s nearly three-minute lead from Sunday was whittled down to fewer than a dozen seconds after Stage 2, with Dean Shreiner hot on his tail. Shreiner (Veloworkx MTB) posted the second-fastest Stage 2 time on Monday, at 04:05:20.9, compared to Cox’s 04:08:01.4.
Heading into Tuesday, it was a three-man race between Cox (05:38:33.1 overall), Shreiner (05:38:44.6 overall) and third-place overall divisional rider Pat Doyle of Deadgoat Racing (05:39:10 overall) in the Solo Men 50+ Category 1 division. Doyle concluded Monday with the fastest of any divisional Stage 2 time at 04:03:13.4. The mark put him just 36 seconds behind Cox for first place in the division entering Tuesday’s Stage 3.
Of the women’s open divisions, the closest margin between first and second place after Stage 2 came in the three-day 1-3 Solo Women Pro 1/2/3 division. The divisional leader after two days, Sarah Max of Deschutes Brewery, saw her lead drop from 02:15.9 after Sunday’s abbreviated Stage 1 to just 26.7 seconds after Monday’s Stage 2.
On her heels is Jane Marshall, riding for Team CTS. Heading into Stage 3, it appeared the division would come down to the competitive duo of Marshall and Max, as none of the other 14 divisional riders were within 11 minutes of their pace. The two were also the only riders in the division to post times on the 43-mile Colorado Trail course on Monday shorter than five hours — Marshall at 04:49:54.2 and Max at 04:51:43.3.
The six- and three-day multi-stage races continued on Tuesday with Stage 3’s 41-mile, 8,100-foot elevation-gain course that circumnavigated Mount Guyot, though official results were too late for the Summit Daily’s print deadline.
Stage 4 on Wednesday will require riders to traverse 44 miles over 6,300 feet of gain via the “Aqueduct” course.
Thursday’s Stage 5 will be the annually priased “Wheeler” stage, with 4,900 feet of elevation gained over 32 miles.
The Breck Epic will conclude on Friday with the 30-mile, 4,800-foot gain “Gold Dust” course.[swift-recs]
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