From the field: Breck Epic on Heinous and Vomit hill |

From the field: Breck Epic on Heinous and Vomit hill

Sydney Fox
special to the daily

On Wednesday, Stage 4 and the queen stage was upon the racers with climbs up both Heinous and Vomit hills in the Acqueduct Stage. The names are shudder-inspiring, but they are accurate. It’s the longest stage with the greatest elevation change.

Matthys Beukes (Squirt Lube) captured his first stage win, bringing him to the third spot in the general classification, the overall time tally for cyclists. Beukes came out fast from the gate and never let up. Teammate Ben Melt Swanepoel hung on to second place for the first portion, but consistent Ben Sonntag has finished each stage in second place and wasn’t going to let Wednesday be any different. He found his speed and passed Swanepoel to retain his overall lead by 13-and-a-half minutes. Local Josh Tostado (Bach Builders), finishing the stage in fourth, looked smooth and fast all day.

However, the real standout was in the men’s singleseed competition, where Macky Franklin (Oskar Blues/Reeb) came out smokin’ and never let up. The Epic is his first singlespeed stage race (which started off with his third-ever singlespeed ride in Stage 1), finished in fourth overall, almost exactly two minutes ahead of Tostado. After Tuesday’s cleat debacle, he was primed for a hard effort. If it weren’t for a crash late in the stage, he had a chance at coming in third overall.

In the women’s race, overall race leader Amanda Carey (Kenda) spent most of the day nearly a minute in front of overall second-place rider Yolandi Du Toit (Squirt Lube). However, on the last steep, loose, rocky climb, Du Toit pulled away from Carey to finish the day about a minute in front. Du Toit let the tiniest smile escape after she crossed the finish. Carey retained her overall lead.

In the women’s singlespeed competition, Jen Wilson continued her dominating streak, holding on to third behind Carey and Du Toit.

Solo 40+ overall leader, local Jeff Cospolich, sprinted the finish with more left in his legs than should be after the hardest stage yet. Russ Kappius continued his dominance in the solo 50+ race, less than half an hour behind his son, who is currently in second in the singlespeed competition.

The Singlespeed Stage Race World Championships is new to the Epic this year. Both the men’s and women’s overall winner will be crowned the singlespeed champion, complete with world champ stripes.

In the duo men’s 80+ race, Kervin Quinones and Michael Trimble decided this was the day to put in the hard effort, and it landed them a significant win over current overall leaders, Mike Hogan and Thomas Dooley.

Today’s Stage 5 – the first one to venture to the west side of the valley – traverses Breckenridge Ski Resort, before heading south to the Wheeler Trail. Once on Wheeler, racers turn back to the north and over the saddle between peaks 8 and 9. The trail then heads toward Copper Mountain. Then, it’s back to the grind on the Peaks Trail, where fast, technical riders will find their place.


Stage previews are from Mountain Magazine:

Stage recaps are from Cyclingnews:


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