Welcome to The Dirt, the weekly news round-up on what is happening in the worlds of gravel, mountain biking, and all things rough and dirty.

Breck Epic Legacy Foundation plans to give back

You probably know the six-day Breck Epic mountain bike race for its tough, high-altitude singletrack, but did you know about the Colorado event’s charitable initiatives? Race organizers have established the Epic Legacy Foundation (ELF) to facilitate their work to improve trails in Breckenridge and nearby communities.

“Over the past 11 years, our events division has donated quietly, yet significantly to individuals, non-profits, and causes in which we believed,” said race director Mike McCormack. “We’ve given time, resources and funding and in our own small way, tried to make the cycling world a better place.”

For 2019, ELF will commit to four initiatives. It will enhance and improve trails in Summit, Eagle, and Routt counties. ELF will help fund Breck Open Space, Summit County Open Space, Eagle County Open Space, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. It will also promote trails volunteerism and help educate trail users about stewardship and responsible use.

This comes along with news that USA Cycling has confirmed Breck Epic’s UCI class 1 inscription. The race will put up $30,000 in prize money and plans to offer new ways for fans to follow the action day by day.

“We’re going to use modern technology to communicate the drama of a high-altitude, multi-day stage race to a worldwide audience in real time and in high definition,” added McCormack. “Aligning with the UCI attracts the world’s fastest riders. We’re going to pit them against each other on a supremely stunning race course.”

The race takes place August 11-16 2019.

Schurter and Frischknecht riding for redemption at Cape Epic

Schurter
Photo: Scott-SRAM

World champion Nino Schurter and his Scott-SRAM teammate Andri Frischknecht will return to the Absa Cape Epic in a bid to bounce back from an ill-fated run at the eight-day mountain bike stage race last year. Schurter, winner of the 2017 Cape Epic, lost his chance for a repeat victory when his 2018 teammate Matthias Stirnemann fell ill at the beginning of the race. Frischknecht crashed out in stage 3.

The Swiss duo is confident they can put together a week of racing to rival defending champions Howard Grotts and Jaroslav Kulhavy.

“The lesson was that an Absa Cape Epic can go all directions. To the good and to the bad,” said Schurter, the 2016 Olympic champion. “Illness, mechanicals, and injuries is not something you can 100-percent avoid, you can only try to limit the risk.”

They will also be able to rely on their Scott-SRAM teammates European Champion Lars Forster and Gert Heyns, who will form a second pair for the race.

Cape Epic is always contested by teams of two. Their teammate Kate Courtney will not return to South Africa this year to defend the Cape Epic title that she won with Annika Langvad last season.

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