This was my 9th time racing the Breckenridge 100, for better and worse, I know the course like the back of my hand. The good part is being ready for every twist and turn on a very difficult course. The bad part is that I know the level of pain and suffering that is about to take place… The Breck 100 is a legit mountain bike race it tests every aspect of racing a mountain bike.
The level of competition went up a notch this year, with Swiss strong man Oliver Zurbrugg fresh off his Firecracker 50 win, Ben Sonntag who is always super strong, along with Nick Truitt, and Jeff Kerkove who are always strong contenders. With recent heavy rain, the course was at full saturation making things slick and tricky. I ended up riding with Ben most of the first loop and by the end of the Peaks Trail we had caught up with Oliver who had been leading. The three of us made our way together into the transition for loop two. While riding behind Oliver, I noticed that his bike looked like it had a lot of play in the rear end of his bike and when we got to the transition area for loop two, he realized that his frame was broken which ended his day.
Loop two started with me leading and as I started setting the pace Ben was never more than a minute or two behind me. We continued like this all the way into loop three. By the top of the loop three Indiana climb Ben had reeled me in and we were together over the pass and rode gold dust trail together all the way to Como. The return from Como back over Boreas Pass is about an hour dirt road grind, I knew Ben was going to make a jump and about 10 minutes into the climb he launched and I couldn’t go. I had to just keep my pace going and push what I could. I kept him in sight the whole way up the pass and was less than two minutes back at the top.
On the decent I knew I could make some time up so I pushed as hard as I could and flew half out of control down the last trail section. When I popped out on the road I had Ben in my sites but it was too late, we where just about at the finish and I rolled in 9 seconds behind him. It was a hard fought race and Ben came out on top, I feel great about my second place finish, I raced hard and gave it all I had and had a great time racing my bike.