Breck Epic Stage 6

Todd Wells and Amy Krahenbuhl Take Home Breck Epic 2016 Titles

The final stage served up a much more road-heavy and singletrack-lite day, suiting stage winner Chris Jones quite well. Jones went on to win the stage by a minute and a half and placed 8th in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The final stage served up a much more road-heavy and singletrack-lite day, suiting stage winner Chris Jones quite well. Jones went on to win the stage by a minute and a half and placed 8th in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Photo by: Liam Doran

Photo by: Liam Doran

Racers finish along the Blue River trail solidifying 6 days of singletrack-heavy racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

Racers finish along the Blue River trail solidifying 6 days of singletrack-heavy racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The final climb of the final stage welcomed an epic hand-up of ice cold beers, capping off an epic week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The final climb of the final stage welcomed an epic hand-up of ice cold beers, capping off an epic week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

A rider gives one final look back at the expansive landscapes and views that were plentiful throughout the entire week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

A rider gives one final look back at the expansive landscapes and views that were plentiful throughout the entire week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The overall singlespeed winner, Vince Anderson drops into the Gold Dust trail on the final stage of the 6 day Breck Epic. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The overall singlespeed winner, Vince Anderson drops into the Gold Dust trail on the final stage of the 6 day Breck Epic. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Amy Krahenbuhl solidified her six day race open women’s race with her sixth stage win. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Amy Krahenbuhl solidified her six day race open women’s race with her sixth stage win. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Team Kask takes the overall coed duo win and enjoys the final stage filled with more forgiving climbs and flowing descents. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Team Kask takes the overall coed duo win and enjoys the final stage filled with more forgiving climbs and flowing descents. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Todd Wells decided to dust off his Leadville 100 winning bike, aero bars and all, for the final stage of the Breck Epic. Todd finished 6th on the stage, but maintained his overall win for the 6 day open men’s race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Todd Wells decided to dust off his Leadville 100 winning bike, aero bars and all, for the final stage of the Breck Epic. Todd finished 6th on the stage, but maintained his overall win for the 6 day open men’s race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Click Here for full Stage 6 Results and Final GC Standings

Breck Epic Stage 5

Russell Finsterwald and Amy Kranhenbuhl Coquer Mount Wheeler Stage

The grassy wet-land-esque fields at the summit of Wheeler can be technical, especially for exhausted riders. Photo by: Liam Doran

The grassy wet-land-esque fields at the summit of Wheeler can be technical, especially for exhausted riders. Photo by: Liam Doran

Written by: Uncommon Communications

The night before the penultimate stage, riders laid down for bed with the threat of rain looming. In typical Breckenridge- fashion, riders were greeted with clear skies and sun for the morning to get up and over Wheeler Pass. The rain still rolled in around 11am, giving most of the field a good shower.

As race director Mike McCormack says, “it’s not called the Breck Tickle Fight.”

Russell Finsterwald, Todd Wells and most of the leaders in the men’s pro/open field stayed dry throughout the day and got to enjoy the massive views from the top of Wheeler Pass.

Finsterwald took a couple of seconds back from his teammate Wells (SRAM / Troy Lee Designs) after dropping Wells on the descent off of Wheeler Pass.

“I thought yesterday was my favorite stage, but now this one is,” recounted Finsterwald. “The views were awesome and the descending was next level. I was having the time of my life on that second descent.”

KUHL-Pivot Cycles rider Drew Free is sitting in sixth after his seventh place ride on Wheeler. With a gap of seven minutes to fifth, he could be looking to move up overall, but it’s unlikely he’ll close the hour and twenty minutes to Todd Wells. Photo by: Liam Doran

KUHL-Pivot Cycles rider Drew Free is sitting in sixth after his seventh place ride on Wheeler. With a gap of seven minutes to fifth, he could be looking to move up overall, but it’s unlikely he’ll close the hour and twenty minutes to Todd Wells. Photo by: Liam Doran

Though it wasn’t all sunshine and unicorns for Finsterwald, who took a digger on that second descent he was loving so much.

“I was riding in control, but going across one of those bridges there were a couple logs parallel to one another. My front wheel got caught between, and sent me sailing. I tried to ride a good pace, just to make it into the finish. I knew Todd wouldn’t be too far behind.”

Finsterwald ended the day just 11 seconds up on Wells with Ben Sonntag in third, all but cementing his place on the podium.

“My legs felt pretty empty from the beginning, so I let the group go,” said Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar) about starting in wave one with the top-8 riders overall. “I don’t know, it was just ‘keep pushing’ today. There was no snap, explosiveness, or thoughts like, ‘I’m flying up this right now,’ it was just a grind.”

Troy Wells had a great day riding with teammate Ben Sonntag andfinished fourth on the day. Troy sits 5th in GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Troy Wells had a great day riding with teammate Ben Sonntag andfinished fourth on the day. Troy sits 5th in GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The elevation profile of day five had many riders opting for longer-travel bikes to better take advantage of the longer, more technical descents. Since the trails were so steep and often quite narrow, riders were forced to their feet.

“We had a lot of fun coming down [from Wheeler],” said Jake Wells who is leading the Duo Open category with his partner Ciro Zarate. “We rode our bigger bikes today — 5” fork, dropper post. It was a lot of fun going down, but it was a lot of pushing on the way up.”

Amy Krahenbuhl has shown a dominating performance in the Women’s race and currently has a lead of of nearly 54-minutes. Photo by: Liam Doran

Amy Krahenbuhl has shown a dominating performance in the Women’s race and currently has a lead of of nearly 54-minutes. Photo by: Liam Doran

In the women’s open category, Amy Krahenbuhl has a 54-minute lead over Emma Maaranen (Rolf) and Ksenia Lepikhina (Tokyo Joe’s) sits another 13-minutes back in third.

With the final stage – Gold Dust — being all that lay ahead of riders, overall leads are not likely to change hands in many categories. At under 30-miles, the Gold Dust loop packs in fast climbing and screaming singletrack descents into the shortest mileage of the week.

Today’s stage demanded the powers of a mountain goat, as they pushed to terrain not normally travelled by bike or foot. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Today’s stage demanded the powers of a mountain goat, as they pushed to terrain not normally travelled by bike or foot. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Click Here for full results from Stage and GC