Josh Tostado, aka Mr. Breck 100, returns to his hometown 100-miler on July 16
2016 Breck 100
What: The 12th edition of a classic 100-mile mountain bike race, held on three separate loops between Breckenridge, Copper, Frisco and Park County with options for a 68-mile and 32-mile ride
When: Saturday, July 16 at 6 a.m.
Where: Carter Park start line, Breckenridge
Cost: $225 (solo 100), $125 (solo 68), $85 (solo 32), $330 (team 100), $175 (team 68)
Registration for the Breck 100 is still available online or onsite at Carter Park from 4-8 p.m. on July 15 (as in today). There is no race-day registration for the 100-mile race. Race fees include aid stations, custom bike jersey, a post-race buffet, refreshments and awards at Carter Park. Team options are available for a two-person team on the 68-mile route or three-person team on the 100-mile route.
Hey, MTBers: Breck 100 closures
In true community spirit, the Breck 100 is one of the few local bike races held on an open course. There are no full trail closures — it would be tough to close every mile of the full 100-mile route — but there’s still a race going on. Call (970) 401-1422 if you have any questions or concerns, and thanks for sharing the trails.
6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Wheeler Trail, from Peak 9 to Copper Mountain
7:30 a.m to 10 a.m. — Peaks Trail
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — Moonstone/Barney Flow trails
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — American Gulch Road to Swan River
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Colorado Trail, from Tiger Dredge trailhead east on Westridge to North Fork Road
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Side Door, Minnie Mine and X10U8 trails in French Gulch
Noon to 4 p.m. — Blue River Trail and Indiana Creek Road
Noon to 5 p.m. — Gold Dust Trail
1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Bakers Tank Trail
It just so happens that Josh Tostado’s van broke down right in time for one of his favorite races.
“I was actually supposed to take a trip to Oregon this weekend, but my van needed some work and I didn’t want to chance it,” the longtime Colorado resident said on a hot, hot July afternoon just two days before the Breck 100, an annual endurance race on his home turf. “I was looking for something and realized that, holy crap, the Breck 100 is this weekend. That worked out perfectly.”
For the past 23 years, Tostado has lived and biked in the Summit County area. He’s been a pro for nearly as long, spending summers traveling the country for endurance rides — think 100 milers and 24-hour marathons — before returning to the mountains for his winter gig as a plow driver. He’s been racing a ton this year, New Mexico to Arizona to South Dakota, and, as he says, he planned on racing in Oregon this weekend.
But, when the sprinter van broke down — he lives out of the thing most of the summer — Tostado couldn’t say no to his hometown 100-miler. In the past 12 years, the 40-year-old has won seven times to earn the undisputed (if unofficial) title of Mr. Breck 100.
“This is such a good excuse to go out and ride the best trails in Breck, the ones I really haven’t been riding this year,” said Tostado, who moved to Fairplay a few years back and spends most of his free riding time around there these days. “(The Breck 100) is such a great race. When you race something for so long you almost take it for granted, but even when I’m going to beautiful places with views of the Grand Tetons, or I’m in the Cascades with volcanic rock, Breck is still up there as one of the best 100-mile races in the country.”
Not only is this a somewhat random chance to ride local terrain — it’s also Tostado’s first year back after sitting out in 2015.
“I just wanted to take a break from it,” he said simply. “I did it for 10 years — I was there for a full decade — so I decided to take a year off.”
Competitors, beware: Mr. Breck 100 is back in town.
Classic 100 miles
There’s a reason Tostado carved time out of his race schedule to compete in the Breck 100 for a solid decade. With three classic loops, three distances for all abilities and nearly 13,700 combined vertical feet of climbing — the most elite riders finish in nine hours if they’re lucky — it has one hell of a reputation in the cycling community, and winning the event even once as a pro is one hell of an accolade. It’s also a must-do prep ride for the upcoming Leadville 100 MTB on Aug. 13 and Breck Epic stage race on Aug. 14-19.
“Altitude is definitely my strength,” Tostado said. “I’m also good with trail riding — anything that’s technical, singletrack, tight and narrow. The gnarlier, the better, and I try to seek those races out because that’s what I enjoy.”
The Breck 100 has it all, including a classic (and classically grueling) Loop One on Wheeler Trail. The 100-mile race begins with a climb straight up Peak 9 to Wheeler Pass and the top of the Tenmile Range before dropping down, down, down toward Copper. It can get lonesome up there, but it’s nothing but stunning, Tostado says.
“But, I’ll say, that first climb at six in the morning is not always fun,” he said right after saying it’s his favorite of the race. “It can be tough. Once you start going it gets better, but, at the bottom, you realize that right away you have an hour of climbing.”
And you thought the Firecracker 50 was the real deal.
Three races in one
Along with the full 100-mile race, including a three-person team division, the Breck 100 boasts three other rides: a 32-mile lap on the classic Colorado Trail loop, a 68-mile ride on the Colorado Trail loop and Gold Dust/Boreas Pass loop, and a two-person team option for the 68-miler.
Summit local Ezekiel “Zeke” Hersch is getting in the saddle for the first time since the Firecracker 50 to ride the 32-mile race. He’s a fly-fishing guide who’s been working a ton this summer, and so he wasn’t quite ready for the full 100-mile route after struggling at the Firecracker. He races to do compete, not flounder, and the 32-mile loop on favorites like the Colorado Trail, Westridge and Little French sounded perfect.
“I wasn’t quite ready to bite off the 100,” the 43-year-old said. “I like to do well, and right now I don’t think I could ride it like I want. But I’d ultimately like to get competitive. That distance is a great distance — it’s not a full sprint — and when you add distance, that’s where I start to come into play these days.”
At press time the race had about 350 competitors, meaning there’s plenty of room to register for any of the three distances.
And, even if you don’t race, the finish line at Carter Park is home to kid’s races, food, drinks and more from early morning to late afternoon. It’s the place to be when Mr. Breck 100 crosses the line in a tight matchup with his closest competitor, Jesse Jakomait, a Colorado Springs pro who holds the Colorado Trail Race record of 3 days, 20 hours and 12 minutes.
“I’m always looking to do my best and get a win,” Tostado said. “Whatever happens, happens, but that would be great.”
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