Local Lady Marlee Dixon Takes Colorado Trail Stage While Belgian Frans Claes Wins it for the Men
Written by Marlee Dixon
And the riding gets more and more fun!!! Day 2 of the Breck Epic is a tough day with some monster climbs, but the pain is well-worth it for the awesome descents. Day two starts to give racers a feel for the great riding in Summit County. Today racers started at 8:30 again from the middle of Breckenridge. It’s a short mile behind the pace car to the first climb up Gold Run Road. This climb is a grunt and helps to disperse riders before getting onto the Fall Classic Single track trail.
Then it’s a quick dirt road descent to the next big climb- Heinous Hill. Aptly named – this is a hard mile long climb with some loose rocky areas that can easily push racers off their bikes. Once done with Heinous it’s a screaming descent on Summit Gulch Rd.
This road has mainly one line down it and carnage has been known to happen here. Next we got on the Galena Ditch trail, a flume trail that goes on for a few miles, mostly flat with some rolling sections. A new extension was built called the Galena Ditch Extension, and luckily we were some of the first riders on this new trail.
Once out of Galena Ditch, racers arrive at the 1st aid station and head up the road and get on the middle fork of the Colorado trail. This is a really fun section of the Colorado Trail with some short techy sections, climbing, and a fun descent at the end. Then it’s on to the Westridge climb – a ~4 mile climb up the Colorado Trail. This is one of my favorite trails in Summit County because of the awesome descent down Westridge and Red Trail. Then it’s a climb up for about a mile on the Hay Trail and down Blair Witch before racers meet aid 2.
At mile 30, this is the last aid station and it’s a few miles road ride until racers head up again on Discovery Ridge Trail. Once down Discovery Ridge it’s another dirt non-motorized road climb up Gold Run Road. This is where you start to see racers bonking as this road goes on for a few miles. Once at the top it’s on to more singletrack on the Western Sky Trail then it’s down Prospect Hill road to Side door trail, Minnie mine trail and X10U8 to the finish.
Today was 37.3 Miles and 4920’ vertical. With only a few rain drops later in the race, today’s weather and trail conditions were perfect.
For the Epic 3 day racers Pro Men Kristian Hynek (Topeak-Ergon) won the stage in 2:41:29 (total 2 day time of: 5:16:35, 2nd was Alban Lakata (Topeak-Ergon) in 2:41:58 (5:17:04) and in 3rd was Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon) at 2:42:01 (5:24:39). For the Pro women, Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon) had a much better day today than yesterday (no mechanicals) and finished in a record 3:14:23 (total 2 day time of 6:35:44), followed by Mayalen Noriega (Primaflor/Orbea) with a time of 4:07:15 (8:00:16) and in third was Kata Skaggs with a time of 4:43:52 (8:58:56).
For the Epic, 6 day race, for the pro men Frans Claes won in a time of 2:48:21 (total 2 day time: 5:31:39) followed by Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) in 2nd at 2:54:16 (5:40:14) and Barry Wicks in 3rd with a time of 2:57:12 (5:45:30).
For the pro women it was an exciting race! For the first 2/3rds of the race, Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air/Cannondale), Serena Gordon (Liv/Giant), Kelly Boniface (Moots), and Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Epic Brewing) stayed within sight of each other.
Serena was in the lead for most of the time with Kelly and Evelyn right behind her switching back and forth. Dixon hung in 2nd starting up Heinous Hill then unclipped a few times and both Kelly and Evelyn passed her.
Dixon stayed behind them rolling into aid 1 in 4th only a few seconds behind. On the road to middle fork and on the middle fork of the Colorado Trail, Evelyn, Kelly and Serena stayed close together and Dixon was a few seconds back.
Once on Westridge, Dixon passed Kelly on the climb and stayed right behind Serena and Evelyn on the descent.
Serena flatted on the Westridge descent and Dixon followed Evelyn for the rest of the downhill. Climbing up Hay trail Dixon passed Evelyn but ended up switching back and forth a few times and rallying hard together for the rest of the race.
At the finish, Dixon managed to get ahead and won in a time of 3:25:07 (Total 2 day time of: 6:51:16), followed right behind by Evelyn Dong at 3:25:15 (6:40:33), Kelly Boniface came in 3rd in 3:29:56 (6:47:29) followed closing by Serena Gordon in 3:30:29 (6:47:21).