By Eddie Clark
Breck Epic: Stage 2, The Colorado Trail
(August 13, 2012) BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.— It wouldn't be a mountain bike race if there wasn't a little mud and some genuine hardship involved, which is precisely what racers were given for the Colorado Trail stage. Nobody said this would be easy, and with 41 miles and 7,300 feet of climbing on tap for the day, it was anybody's race to win.
From the top down there were numerous changes to the overall leader board, but the biggest story of the day was the incessant rain that drenched the course and sent some racers to the edge of hypothermia. On the first big climb of the day, a light rain started to fall from the moisture laden clouds that swamped the high peaks. For the first third of the race, the course benefited with an added level of tackiness, but as racers started onto the Colorado Trail out of Swan River, things started getting greasy.
Calle Friberg and Nick Truit took advantage of the conditions to open a small lead going into the first aid station while the field strung itself out behind them. The duo kept a high pace which saw Friberg break free by the second aid station with just 14 miles remaining, and hammer it until the finish for the win with Truit holding on for second. Ben Sonntag would also have a great ride to move up to first in the overall classification.
In the open women's race, Amanda Carey also took advantage of the conditions to get back into the flow of the race with a solid victory that gave her the overall classification. Yolandi Du Toit suffered a flat after the first aid station and ultimately finished a close third behind Karen Jarchow. Jarchow struggled to stay warm but used the opportunity to build upon her lead and bring home second for the day which also significantly closed down the gap between second and third on the overall.
The Men's singlespeed race got even more exciting with Brady Kappius and Macky Franklin marking each other for much of the first half of the race. Kappius succeeded in taking the win, but Macky only conceded roughly 20 seconds, and was able to retain the overall going into the third stage.
Check back tomorrow for a wrap up on the 3-day half Epic.