Gold dusty roads: After sixth and final day, Breck Epic crowns champs
The 10th annual edition of the Breck Epic crowned a familiar face and a brand new one as pro champions of the grueling six-day multi-stage race.
On Friday outside the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, the 200-plus mile mountain bike journey through Summit County’s backcountry concluded for the 300-plus riders who completed the excruciating endeavor. Jeremiah Bishop — who won the inaugural Breck Epic in 2009 — once again put together the best overall time, capturing his fourth Breck Epic title.
Bishop did so on the strength of winning his fourth stage of the six-stage race, posting a sub-two-hour time of 01:59:16.8 on the 30-mile, 4,800-foot elevation gain “Gold Dust” course.
For Stage 6, Bishop essentially rode into the finish line at the ice arena with young, up-and-coming rider Nash Dory, who finished in second place for the stage (01:59:16.9). For the totality of the six-day event, Bishop recorded a time of 16:03:18.6, more than 17 minutes faster than second-place Men’s Pro finisher Jamey Driscoll (16:20:33.697), who finished the Gold Dust course in third place (02:00:04.6). With an overall six-day time of 16:28:34.3, Dory barely edged Kurlander for a spot on the men’s pro podium, by just 10 seconds.
“I just felt healthy, strong, and confident,” Bishop told Velo News after Stage 6. “This week was really good front to back — winning the first stage, winning the last stage. … We had fun. Just goofing around and talking. It was really positive. I’m so stoked to ride with some of these young kids that are coming up through. Nash, we had a good battle on this last stage, and I was like, ‘Maybe I should give the stage win to him.’ He’s been working so hard and riding so well all week. But then I kind of remembered that you’ve gotta make him work for it! I told him where the last climb was and I figured that was enough of a hint, but I was able to hold him off.”
On the women’s side, Carla Williams led wire-to-wire after the sad news of Amy Beisel’s broken collarbone injury during Stage 2. The injury forced her out of the race. At the end of the stage, Beisel rode in with a lead 11 seconds shy of 20 minutes. But the injury prevented her from reaching the start line for Stage 3, which ended with the Breck Epic first-timer, Williams, taking a 32-plus minute lead on the rest of the eight-woman pro field.
Williams went on to win Stages 3, 4 and 5 before finishing in second place on the Gold Dust course on Friday. She said she eased up some on Friday to prep for Saturday’s Leadville 100 mountain bike race, which she is also riding in. As a result, Katrina Engelsted of Boulder Cycle Sport won the stage. For the totality of the Breck Epic, Williams overall time of 21:05:06.6 was more than 41 minutes faster than Englested.
“I was definitely a little nervous about how the altitude would affect me,” Williams told Velo News. “The first day was the shortest day with the rain, and my lungs were just burning, I could hardly breathe. The second day, it was hard to find the power I normally have in my legs, but after that, I started feeling a little bit better each day.”
Twenty-five other division champions were also crowned with the conclusion of the Gold Dust stage on Friday, with a couple of divisions seeing final-day swings between first- and second-place riders.
In the competitive Men’s 30+ Category 1 division, Adam Zimmerman and Ciro Zarate traded the lead all week. Zarate was the one who entered Stage 6 with a lead of 04:19, but by the end of the Gold Dust course, Zimmerman’s overall time of 18:24:39 proved 01:56 faster than Zarate.
In the Breck Epic’s most-populous division, the Solo Men’s 40+ Category 2/3, it was Fernando Bustos De La Peaa who surfaced on the sixth and final day to take the win. Bustos De La Peaa entered the Gold Dust course trailing Barrett Garrison by seven-and-a-half minutes. While Garrison struggled through Gold Dust, Bustos De La Peaa posted the second-fastest divisional time, enough to finish the race in first place by more than 17 minutes, with a time of 20:44:48.5.
The 2019 Breck Epic is scheduled for Aug. 11-16.
2018 Breck Epic Age-group champions
Name Overall time Stage-6 time Winning margin
Solo men 19+ Pro/1
Jeremiah Bishop 16:03:18.6 01:59:16.7 17:15
Solo Women 19+ Pro/1
Carla Williams 21:05:06.6 02:34:37.9 41:43.1
Solo Singlespeed Men Open
Vince Anderson 19:52:36.9 02:34:47.9 16:35.6
Solo Singlespeed Women Open (1 competitor)
Kara Durland 25:30:11.8 03:06:28.8
Solo Men 30+ CAT 1
Adam Zimmerman 18:24:39.1 02:10:49.3 01:56.2
Solo Men 40+ CAT 1
Evan Plews 18:18:48.5 02:16:25.3 01:33:54.9
Solo Men 50+ CAT 1
Pat Doyle 20:01:23 02:29:16.2 07:50.8
Solo Men 19+ CAT 2/3
Patrick Ryan 20:04:19.5 02:32:08.4 03:00:37.8
Solo Men 30+ CAT 2/3
Andy Lueck 20:23:32.6 02:22:36.4 03:14.4
Solo Men 40+ CAT 2/3
Fernando Bustos De La Peaa 20:44:48.5 02:27:01.5 17:20.6
Solo Men 50+ CAT 2/3
Jonathan Lawrence 22:37:52.3 03:08:12.9 56:01
Solo Men 60+ CAT 1/2/3
Russ Asleson 02:53:25.9 22:34:47.5 02:36:26
Solo Clydesdale Open
Josh Carter 24:10:12.1 02:50:58.2 13:15
Solo women 19+ CAT 2/3
Heather Wilson 30:55:34.9 03:28:03.3 02:09:31
Solo women 40+ CAT 1/2/3
Jill Cody 23:27:26.7 02:57:29.9 57:08.9
Solo women 50+ CAT 1/2/3
Trish Grajczyk 23:26:18.7 02:50:40 08:35:58.8
Duo Open Men Pro 1/2/3
Wadsworth-Baring 21:18:45 02:30:19.6 19:04.6
Duo Men 80+ Pro 1/2/3
Takei-Kunii 21:18:45 02:30:19.6 19:04.6
Duo Men 100+ Pro 1/2/3
Bushnell-Macfarland 23:39:12.8 02:47:14.4 12:15.4
Duo Co-Ed Pro 1/2/3
Raborn-Raborn 22:30:08.8 02:47:56.9 47:00.7
Duo Open Women Pro 1/2/3
Wronska-Moos 24:46:50.4 02:55:45.9 07:45
Duo Relay Pro 1/2/3
Melley-Melley 24:49:20.9 04:02:30.9 04:07:40
Davis-Davis 22:22:58.7 02:25:59.5 15:49:05
3-Day 4-6 Men Pro 1/2/3
Francisco Gonzalez 09:24:37.9 02:17:01.9 03:48:54.4
3-Day 4-6 Women Pro 1/2/3
Anne Perry 11:17:19.3 02:41:31.2 01:04:24.3
3-Day 4-6 Men 40+ CAT 1/2/3
Christopher Zimmerman 11:17:25.6 02:46:18.4 56:05.9
3-Day 4-6 Men 50+ CAT 1/2/3
Jeff Hoobler 11:34:06.8 02:57:07.8 56:05.9
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