Stage 3 starts with a police escort through downtown Breck; then the cruiser pulls off and the race begins in earnest. Minnie Mine feels relatively smooth and fast this morning and the rocks on X10U8 seem to have shrunk to mere pebbles. Spin easy to warm up your climbing legs because the race will soon ascend to 12,000 feet, drop 1,500 feet, and then climb back up to 11,500 feet—all within seven miles.
Although you'll be sucking air at the top of French Pass, the remoteness paints a picture of a life without the constant babble of modern conveniences. Once over the top, Park County greets riders with views of rolling hills for miles. When the summit of Georgia Pass creeps into sight, only a slight climb separates you from a section of the Colorado Trail few experience. With punchy climbs and rocky, technical descents, this is no time to relax. Reach the third aid station and take new bottles and substantial food to fuel the next mining road climb. After a descent down Heinous—it's not any easier than climbing the fearsome hill—look forward to now-familiar Minnie Mine and X10U8 trails. Loop back through B&B trail to the finish and a recovery beer. —Sydney Fox
Want more? Sign up for the ultimate mountain bike race at breckepic.com. Get in touch on Facebook and Twitter: Follow the Breck Epic on Facebook and Twitter, and keep pace with your forerunners Sydney Fox (Facebook, Twitter), Nick Truitt (Facebook, Twitter), and Daniel Dunn (Facebook, Twitter).