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
The excitement of the Leadville 100 is hitting full stride. The description from the Leadville Race Series website says it all: "Need a nice challenge? Then forget this one. Cut the Leadville Trail 100 in half. Remove all the easy parts. Throw in technical descents. Burning lungs. Wild animals. And you have a good understanding of what you’re about to get into."
For more information about the race, check out the Silver Rush 50 website: http://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/page/show/315775-silver-rush-50-mile-...
Winter Park Epic Singletrack Series
The Winter Park series is a staple for many Front Range racers. It offers a great mix of cross country races in different race categories, giving racers of all levels an opportunity to
This weekend the Epic Series offers up a doubleheader. On Saturday, the "XC #3", formally known as the "Point-to-Point," races begin at 10am with the pro men. On Sunday, they host a short track mountain bike race, with the beginners leading off the first race at 9am.
For more information about the races, including courses, maps, start times, and descriptions, see the Epic Singletrack website: http://epicsingletrack.com/routes.html
Check back after the weekend for results, pictures, and information.