Ulster Cycling News

Breck Epic Stage 2 – 67km 1800m ascent.

aStage 2 dawned early next day and we were promised smooth singletrack sweeping trails along the famous Colorado trail.  Being in the leaders jersey I was up front with the other category leaders for the start which again as a neutralised roll out through the streets behind the big cop car.  Unfortunately the roll out wasn’t quite long enough to warm my legs and lungs up and within a few minutes of the start we hit the first section of off road which ramped up steeply from the off.   It was at this stage that I realised that all the dust I had inhaled from the previous day was playing havoc with my lungs and on top of that my back started to ache.  A quick stop for breath and stretch and I was soon on the bike and catching up with riders again. Unfortunately Mark had to make his way up through the field from the start and I didn’t get a chance to ride with him from the beginning.

The stage was highlighted by a series of really steep ascents followed by rocky and rooty fast descents and smooth fast twisty singletrack through meadows.  It was on the middle section of the course while catching back up with the open/elite top 3 female riders on a particularly long section of steep climbing that my back decided to fail again, proof that either I hadn’t done enough strength work in preparation for the long steep climbs or perhaps I was slightly overgeared being only one of a very few people still running a 2 x 10 setup.

The rest of the stage turned into a slow crawl up the hills, stopping every so often to relieve the cramping in my muscles, however I did notice that most of the people around me were also soft pedalling uphill so at least I wasn’t the only person feeling the pain!   Between the slow slog uphills and my cautious descending, Mark caught up with me again just as we got to the last water station, 10km from the finish, Conor had also come to meet us at that point.  Dealing with the back cramps meant I had not been concentrating on proper eating/drinking and I was pretty empty by this stage and it was good to ride with the two guys for a while.

Mark rode on, Conor tried to keep up but I was soon again in no man’s land.  I could see Mark just ahead for what felt like AGES but eventually was able to catch up with him and we climbed together again until it too got too much for Mark and I rode on to the finish.  Despite feeling like I had a pretty awful day managed I’d another convincing stage win and despite being promised smooth trails today, was pretty beaten up both arms and legs!


That evening after the race briefing/podium session I decided to give the “Elevated Legs” recovery system a go, 30mins of getting your legs massaged by a pressurised leg sleeve.  Once finished the legs felt lighter which sold me immediately and bought the package for the rest of the week.



By Ciara MacManus
Posted by Marian Lamb UCN : marianlamb@ulstercyclingnews.com


Filed under: MTB, Women Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Trackbacks are disabled.