By Eddie Clark
(August 15, 2012) BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.—More great weather enabled racers to give it their all on one of the last lengthy stages of the Breck Epic. For the Aqueduct loop, three major climbs would test just how well racers were recovered from the weeks efforts, and more great singletrack ensured plenty of fun would be had.
The days big winner was Macky Franklin who put 8:52 on Brady Kappius for the stage win to take back the overall lead in the singlespeed race. However it didn't come easy as Franklin took a high speed digger and got a thorough bit of road rash after he missed a hairpin on the downhill section o the CT Trail going to Little French Gulch.
Matthys Buekes also won big with a combination of some much needed good luck and iron determination to grab his first stage victory by going clear of his competitors on the second climb, aka Vomit Hill, out of Keystone Gulch. Benn Sonntag rode well to minimize the time gap and also increase his overall lead by finishing in second, just couple a minutes ahead of BenMelt Swanepoel who finished third.
Women's open racing provided another slugfest between Amanda Carey and Yolandi Du Toit. Carey opened up the first small gap on the downhill to Tiger road, but Du Toit held tough to slowly reel Carey back in by the second aid station in Keystone. On the last climb up Rock Island Gulch, Du Toit hit the after burners to fly past Carey who was wondering if she could still retain here overall lead because of the pace that Du Toit was setting on the final climb. In the end, Carey only conceded a couple minutes when she finished in second, so the overall is still hers with two more days of racing.