Report by Eddie Clark
Jeremiah Bishop stretched out his overall lead with a big win on the queen stage.
(Aug 24, 2010) BRECKENRIDGE, Colo—Stage four of the Breck Epic treated racers with a new 42 mile course, the Aqueduct Loop, for this year’s event, and also served as the queen stage of the race. In contrast to the previous days racing, today’s weather was a typical bluebird day with cool to brisk temperatures once the racers started climbing out of Breckenridge. Highlights of the course consisted of a second climb up Heinous Hill, a raucous downhill to the Dredge, Colorado Trail singletrack, Vomit Hill, and the big ring delight known as the Aqueduct Trail.
Mechanic Russ of Organic Mechanic, the shop providing neutral support for the Breck Epic at the aid stations, has seen firsthand the abuse taken by racers bikes. “The racing has been dusty and hard this week, and the bikes are starting to show it. We’ve replaced a couple broken saddles, several broken pedals, and had lots of sliced tires”, said Russ. Race leader Jeremiah Bishop even had to deal with a locking up free hub on stage 2, and just today third place Josh Tostado finished with a broken rear derailleur.
Fortunately, Bishop had a mechanical free race today, and also some very fast legs to light up the climbs. By the races end Bishop established a commanding lead with a gap of 6 minutes and 35 seconds over teammate Alex Grant who has finished within a half second for the three prior stages. “I was having a great time, and the legs really came around so I hammered it”, said Bishop of his stellar race on the queen stage of the Breck Epic.
Singlespeed racer Evan Plews of Salem, Oregon is also having a great race, and has led his category since the races start. An experienced racer with mountain biking stage race credentials including the BC Bike Race, the Trans-Rockies Stage Race, and even the Baja, Plews notes that the Breck Epic is the hardest he’s done. “I wanted a hard challenge, and that’s why I’m here and what I’m getting”, said Plews of his race. Evidently running a 34x16 gear was a bit much of a challenge on the first stage, and Plews has been running a 34x17 since.
Tune in tomorrow for the Wheeler Pass race report.
More photos here.