By Montana Miller,
Three minutes into the race, climbing up Boreas Pass, my calves are locking up. It feels like there’s a baseball embedded in each leg. Damn my meathead friends for making me climb a 14er two days before the race.
The top single speed guys are gone. The neutral start isn’t very neutral. I forgot how hard it is to race at elevation. The people that live here are just spinning away. Bastards.
Down some single track, off my bike, hiking up a steep section of jeep road. One of my Neanderthal friends from Pittsburgh is behind me.
“Why you back here? You riding Dahn Pahrs speed!” Dahn Pahrs yells.
“I’m not riding anything jackass,” I yell and keep pushing my bike.
I get to the top of the climb, and start to descend. My legs are cramping again. Bummer. The trail is sweet though. Super steep, covered in baby heads. I get off the front brake and hang on.
Past a broken down snow mobile, the trail loops around above Breckenridge. I ride into a housing development. Has to be the end of the stage. Then the trail turns away from town. Nuts. Guess that’s not the end.
I’m three hours in now, riding up an old rail grade. And up some more. And up. I’m beat. Finally top out. Turn into single track. The trail twists and switches through the tall pines. This is awesome. Cross the road, through some fast rock gardens and into a section of banked switchbacks above the town park. Across the finish.
I wait for a couple other guys to finish, then we head over to sit in the cold stream that runs through the center of town. Hard stage, and there are five more just like it. It’s going to be a rough week.
Stage 1 Results
The Single Speed Stage Race World Championship Race looks like it’ll be a close one. Macky Franklin of Taos, New Mexico finished in 3:25, only beating Brady Kappius by one minute. Both riders appear to be hairless, so it’s unclear if they’ll be able to furnish pubic hair to glue the face of one of the Palermo Brothers of Pittsburgh, who are bringing up the rear of the SS class.
In the Women’s Single Speed Race, Jenifer Wilson won the stage, with Andrea Wilson in second.
Rich Dillen and Peter Keiller defected from the single speed class, and are currently in last place in Men’s Open Duo.
In the Men’s Open Race, South African Ben Melt Swanepoel took the men’s win in 3:11. Ben Sonntag and Josh Tostado rolled across the finish in 2nd and 3rd in two minutes behind.
Yolandi Du Toit was the fastest woman in 3:57. Amanda Carey was five minutes behind, and Karen Jarchow was in third place at 4:15.
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