The 2011 Breck Epic ended 5 weeks and 540 miles of racing for me. Coming into the race, I was ready for a break but first I had to battle the beast that is the Breck Epic. And an epic it turned out to be, it seems like this season I just can’t get through a race without some sort of trouble and with 5 flats and a destroyed rim the Breck Epic was no exception.
It was clear from the start that the Epic had an incredibly competitive international field! Making the trip to Breckenridge included the 5-time La Ruda champion – Ramirez “Lico” Federico, multi-time 24 hour national champion – Cameron Chambers, U23 national champion and 2011 Firecracker 50 champ – Colin Cares and bike racing icon – Travis Brown. In addition to the big names, there were a ton of other strong guys, Macky Franklin, Ben Aufderheide, Blake Harlan and Nick Truitt just to name a few.
My luck ran out quickly in the first stage with 3 flats and a destroyed rim from riding it for several miles after I ran out of tubes! Luckily I got a replacement wheel and was able to finish the stage, even though I was almost 30 minutes off Lico’s pace. After the unfortunate first stage I went out everyday and just put my head down and raced hard and I was able to get on the podium every other day except for the last day. Each day in the Epic, the pace was high and the course brutal and it was a blast racing with everyone. In the end I was able to fight my way back to 3rd in the GC, it was one of the hardest racing experiences I’ve ever had. By the final stage I had nothing left in the tank and really had to dig deep to hold it together. Thanks to Mike Mac and all of the race staff and volunteers, you guys really know how to put on a great race and I’m already looking forward to next year!