Sonya Looney rides to new record and victory for 10th year of racing, and Ben Sonntag finishes seconds ahead of Tostado for 100 mile win.
(July 14, 2013) BRECKENRIDGE, Colo—The Rocky Mountain Endurance Series saved the best, and hardest, race for last with the fabled Breckenridge 100. The infamous 100 mile ‘true’ mountain bike race featured just over 13,000 feet of climbing at altitude, plenty of ripping singletrack for the descents, and even some cold wet thunderstorms to make the race about as hard core as it gets. Of course, like every Rocky Mountain Endurance race, there were also marathon and cross country distance races offered with the B68 and B32 races that utilized two of the three big loops to be completed by the B100 racers.
At 6am, B100 racers started their day’s journey with an ascent to Wheeler Pass where wild flowers were abundant and snow drifts were a reminder of just how high this race gets. Swiss racer, Oliver Zurbrügg set the pace for the pro men with Ben Sonntag, Greg Krause, Nick Truitt and Josh Tostado not far behind. Once above treeline, racers could easily ride at their own pace while keeping an eye on the gaps ahead.
Coming back into Breckenridge, the trio of Tostado, Sonntag and Zurbrügg were together as they embarked on the second big loop of the race. During the second lap, Zurbrügg would drop out of the race. Going into the third loop, Tostado used his local trail knowledge and excellent descending skills to establish a gap of nearly 2 minutes over the chasing Sonntag.
On the return climb back up Boreas Pass from Como, Sonntag gave it all to reel Tostado in, and turned the tables by establishing a nearly two minute gap before the mostly downhill run into the finish. With an amazing display of descending prowess, Tostado came within 9 seconds of catching Sonntag at the line.
Nick Truitt held onto third place with a standout ride in his new Pearl Izumi team kit.
While there were numerous other great dramas that played out in the many classes and races of the day, it was Sonya Looney who raced her heart out in the Pro Women’s B100 to make it a day of firsts for her on her ten-years-to-the-day anniversary of mountain bike racing.
(L) Looney all smiles at the finish. (R) Beer handups are legal at the Breckenridge 100.
Using a power meter for the first time in a race while also racing a 29’er for the first time ever in Breckenridge, Looney watched her numbers to conserve legs and energy on the ascent of Wheeler Pass. It was a strategy based on finishing strong since she knew it would take an all-out effort on the final big climb up Boreas Pass to break the women’s course record. In taking the win over Rebecca Hodggets, Looney also set the new women’s course record with a time of 9 hours, 48 minutes and 12.7 seconds.