It's unofficially THE mountain bike race weekend in Colorado. Racers have a tough decision in picking one from all the great venues. The Warriors Cycling Breckenridge 100/68/32 is Sunday in Breckenridge, while the Leadville Race Series Silver Rush 50 and the Winter Park Epic XC 3 go off on Saturday. Winter Park also hosts a short track race on Sunday as part of their weekend racing.
The Warriors Cycling Breckenridge races are all fantastic. High mountain singletrack, serious amounts of climbing, fast descents, world-class scenery, and low key race atmosphere combine to make the 100, 68, and 32 premiere races in all of the west.
The 100 is the 5th race of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Race Series. Riders from around the country and world travel to Breckenridge to tackle challenging three loops. The first loop of the 100-miler, which starts at 6am, goes up and over the mountain range that is home to the Breckenridge ski resort. Racers are forced to hike several sections where steep grades and sometime snow makes it unrideable. After they drop down on the west side of the mountain near Copper Mountain they circle around back to town. After returning to the finish area near, racers head out on lap two east of town.
The 68 and 32-mile races utilize lap two. Both races begin at 10am on Sunday. The 32-miler ends after the one lap. The 68 continues on to finish off lap 3 of the 100. Laps 2 and 3 are a great combination of dirt road, fast Colorado Trail singletrack, grinding climbs, and even a downhill, bermed singletrack section.
The leading endurance mountain biking magazine, XXC Magazine, put together a quick review of the race:
Sunday’s Breck 100 has the notable reputation of being what may be the hardest 100 miler in the N.U.E. series. That’s not just a race hack like me talking either, take a look at what N.U.E. winning machine Gerry Pflug had to say about his 2011 Breck 100 race … “Out of all the NUE races I have done, the Breck 100 definitely ranks as the hardest in my mind. I felt completely beat after finishing my first two attempts at the Breckenridge 100. I did not want to feel this way for the start of my attempt at doing four NUE races in a row, so I tried to better prepare myself for the race this year and I thought I was ready. But, the thin air of Breckenridge once again left me feeling completely conquered after the race and actually worse than ever this year.”
Read more at XXCMag.com
Leadville Silver Rush 50