Weiss and Carey ride to victory in 'toughest' 100 miler on the NUE circuit. Weiss Sparks Controversy.
By Eddie Clark
(July 15, 2012) BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.— Long climbs, long downhills, amazing views and tired muscles were the big draws for racers contesting what is perhaps the hardest 100 mile race in the Rocky Mountain region. With a total elevation gain of 13,719 feet at altitudes reaching 12,400 feet, it goes unsaid that the Breckenridge 100 is the toughest race of the Rocky Mountain Endurance series. Also on tap were shorter races featuring distances of 68 and 32 miles for those seeking a less painful race.
Starting at 6am, racers competing in the 100 mile event started with a neutral roll out of town, and then started the daunting climb up and over Wheeler Pass. Unlike previous years, the ascent was free of snow banks, which allowed for faster times by all. After a long downhill, racers had some paved bike path back to recover on before hitting the singletrack via the Peaks Trail to return to Breckenridge.
With the first of three loops completed, the 100 mile racers headed up the Barney Ford Trail to the difficult Lower French Gulch climb, and yet another climb up the Colorado Trail. If there's a highpoint for pegging the fun meter, it would have to be descending the Colorado Trail back down to Tiger Road. Coming in at a close second is the Gold Dust Trail that racers descended on their third lap from Boreas Pass.
While the 100 mile racers were getting down to business on the second lap, the 68 and 32 mile racers took the start line a bit later respectively at 10:30am and 10:45am. Like the rest of the series, racers chose from solo pro or amateur age brackets, or could choose to race on a team.
Once racers started getting into their last lap, and climb up to Boreas Pass, the skies opened up and dropped a deluge of rain and hail to ensure everyone got muddy, and in some cases cold too. Although, the mud was mild, and the moisture mostly served to create buff hero-dirt conditions for the remainder of the singletrack.
Local favorite, Josh Tostado put in another solid race to finish in second, and went on to give a personal claim for the record of the most Breck 100 races completed, "I've done eight of these, every one since it started". While Tostado rides these trails all the time in training, he noted, "It's hard putting it all together in a 100 mile race. The downhills are definitely my favorite part of this race".
Michael Weiss was the top finisher in the pro men's 100 mile race, besting Tostado by over eight minutes, but his finish was clouded by controversy. Weiss is currently serving a 2 year suspension for a doping offense handed down by an independent arbitration committee of Austria’s anti-doping agency (NADA).
As has become common in these situations, the Weiss case is as clear as the murky hue of a urine sample taken from a dehydrated athlete. The committee found Weiss guilty of having his blood taken for enrichment at a blood lab in Vienna seven years ago. Weiss reportedly never failed a blood test and the the decision was based on the sole testimony of anohter individual. Weiss maintians his innocence and says he chose not to appeal the case due to the high legal costs he would incure. Because the Breckenridge 100 is a not a UCI or USAC sanctioned event, his eligibility to race is up to the race promoter. It certainly sparked some contraversy and discussion but his time and placing will stand.
In the pro women's 100 mile race, ultra endurance mountain biker Amanda Carey rode within herself, and had a blast railing the numerous miles of singletrack to take a solid victory.