When we arrived a few days ago in Breckenridge, CO, it was as if we came to some sort of fantasy land for lovers of the outdoors. Majestic mountains reaching far up into the blue skies, the air was dry and cool, a perfect setting for a bike race.
It is now Sunday and the early morning skies were grey, the air felt more like deep autumn than late summer, and the threat of rain was imminent. Riders took on Stage 1 today, 36.4 miles of riding with just under 6,000 feet of climbing awaited them. While the course would be a true test of who was on top form for the week ahead, the rain would test every single competitor today. While the temperatures hovered around the low 50’s at the start line and by 10:30 am the skies opened up as most of the field was reaching the end of the first big climb of the day, The steady rain continued for the bulk of the stage as racers arrived at the finishing area muddy and cold.
This year the Breck Epic is a UCI event for the first time, and it has attracted a strong field of professionals looking to take the overall. In the women’s field, Katerina Nash put down an impressive first-day effort to take the lead, and National XC champ Keegan Swenson took the win in the men’s race. With five stages to go and the weather clearing up for the remainder of the week things are certainly going to heat up on course, literally and figuratively.
Stay tuned all week for daily coverage from the race, as we compete ( by we I mean Scott) and our media team(by team I mean me.) heads into the mountains to bring you all the action.