Riders awoke to a morning rainstorm in Breckenridge, Colorado Sunday … and an email from Breck Epic race director Mike McCormack. Stage 1 was delayed. Fortunately, as the clouds cleared, the race organization devised an alternate route and the six-day mountain bike stage race began with a fast-paced, 17-mile stage.
In his email, McCormack explained how important it was to avoid trail damage and maintain a good relationship with the Forest Service.
“While this is unfortunate, it’s a also unquestionably the correct decision for our trails, for your drivetrains and for the long term sustainability of the event,” he wrote.
After the day’s short race up Pennsylvania Gulch, the roughly 425 riders gathered under a big tent outside the Beaver Run Resort at the base of Breckenridge’s ski hill to cheer the day’s winners. Jermiah Bishop (Canyon-Topeak) won stage 1 of the men’s pro race, while Amy Beisel (Orange Seal) was fastest in the women’s race.
The hundreds of participants were in good spirits, applauding McCormack who further explained the difficult decision to run the race that he jokingly described as “a six out of 10 on the scale of suckiness.”
Stage 2 should deliver on Breck Epic’s promise to take riders deep into the Colorado backcountry with a 42-mile loop including the Colorado Trail.