Tommy Taylor Finish B100First City Cycling’s Tommy Taylor completed his first Breck 100 mountain bike race a few weeks back. He finished 28th out of 84 and just over his goal time of 11hrs.  Here’s his recap. 


I’ve been wanting to write a brief race recap, but for a number of reasons I have been delayed.
Now that more than a week has passed since doing the race I took the time (during code runs at work!) to capture some of my thoughts since this was most likely my last super-event for a while with our baby due in a month. 

Having done the Breck68 a number of times (4 completions, 1 DNF), I sort of knew what I was getting into for the B100. For the first time in my life I decided to pay for a coach and signed up with Zack Allison at the Source Endurance Training Center of the Rockies starting back in March. He performed a power-based lactate threshold test to set my heart rate zones. I train with HR only – no power. It’s just easier because it’s 100% transferable from bike to bike. I spent the spring and early summer building up with a lot of Zone 2 rides and some threshold and VO2 training. I did a series of endurance races; Ridgeline Rampage (50 miles), PV Cycle Derby (65 miles), Rattlesnake Rampage at Glendo (22 miles), Castle ERock Eleven Hours (with Paul Tanguay) and 40ITF. I had some descent results, had some good recovery and went into B100 feeling cautiously optimistic that I could for sure finish the ride.


On race day I woke at 4:30AM, gobbled down some oatmeal and scrambled eggs and we were off at 6:00AM sharp to climb Mt Wheeler that tops out over 12 thousand feet. I had set a somewhat arbitrary goal of 11:00 based on my previous B68 runs. The estimated breakdown was; lap 1= 3:15, lap 2=3:45, lap 3=4:00.


I’m not really the best climber and I’ll be honest, that first 8-10 miles to the top of Wheeler I was not feeling good. By the peak I was probably 60th of about 85 starters but I kept telling myself to stay within my own limits (which as racers you know is really really hard to do when the field is just riding away from you). On the Wheeler descent I passed a number of riders (watched several guys endo right in front of me on the steep pitches) and regained some confidence. The section of single track from Frisco to Breck was really fun but I kept it dialed back and began to realize that I was not going to make my 3:15 goal on the first lap. My official lap 1 time was 3:23 but by the time I restocked my supplies at the Carter Park aid station and got going on the tough lap 2, my real time was more like 3:30. I knew how hard the middle lap was going to be and especially for me the wicked steep French Gulch climb. By the time I started up that at around mile 40 with already ~5k climbing in my legs I was slightly surprised at how quickly it went by. I guess it’s the difference between the “chill” pace of riding the B100 and the all out effort that I’m used to for the B68. The next big challenge is the West Ridge climb, on which I began to have the hated lower back cramp that can for sure shut down my day. Somehow I managed to get over it and then on the super fun descent the pain magically went away (note this is my favorite section of the course). It was on that descent that I passed the 50 mile point and had the crazy thought that I could reverse the entire course and cover the same amount of distance – and that was about 6:00 into racing!! It was also around this time that I realized that if I wanted to meet my race goal I needed to get my butt in gear; stop RIDING and start RACING. I began to amp it up on the next series of shorter climbs. I think I was sort of freaking out some of the slower B32 and B68 riders when I came by hoofing it in the big ring out of the saddle. I was definitely starting to get that race buzz. I came into Carter Park feeling great right after catching a brief rain storm, grabbed some arm warmers and rain jacket, loaded up on fuel, gave my lovely wife a quick kiss and blasted out to tackle lap 3. My lap 2 time was 3:45, exactly equal to my prediction. On the short road climb out of town I caught up to a group of five B100 riders (including Fort Collins Tyson Kaman who is quite a good climber) so I knew that things were going well. As it goes with racing, this gave me that additional fuel for the fire and I felt really good on the Boreas Pass climb, eventually leaving all but one of those guys in the dust. I topped out at Boreas, didn’t bother to stop at the aid and blasted down the famous Gold Dust section of trail. Truthfully I don’t know what the hype is about Gold Dust (kind of like I don’t get the Beatles), but I road the damn thing in style and popped out in Como with about 80 miles and 9:20 on the clock. I was starting to get a bit fatigued obviously (especially in the shoulders) and worried about being able to keep down the calories which is a huge huge issue for such a long effort. But the legs were saying go, so we popped it into the big ring and rolled out those first few miles of lower slopes leading to the day’s final climb back over Boreas. At that point it would have taken a broken bike to have kept me from finishing and even then I would likely have attempted to run it in! I peaked the climb at 10:35 with 10 miles of descending left to go. Even with my high-altitude and fatigued brain, it became clear that I was unlikely to make my self imposed 11 hour cutoff. It was almost all descending to the finish but I would need to average more than 20 mph into town! But I didn’t care – I still wanted to finish in as fast a time as possible. Once at the top I again skipped the aid station and launched into a full fledged “attack” on the final descent. The descent was not as tough as I had worried (usually hands and arms are fading really really bad) so I was able to more or less enjoy this section.  A few miles from town the 11:00 flipped on my clock and I had to resign to the fact that I had lost a little too much ground on the opening lap. Overall I was ok with that. I’m a sensitive guy – I’ll admit that I had a few flushes of what might have been some tears of emotion as I rolled those last few miles.

I definitely enjoyed a finishing welcome by Courtney and relished what was a long and tough day in the saddle – one that I will always remember.


Summary facts:
Race time 11:06:49 (lap 1=3:22:22) (lap 2=3:44:07) (lap 3=4:00:19)
Total climbing=~13,000′
Time in HR zones; Z1=2%, Z2=23%, Z3=45%, Z4=30%, Z5=0%. (this tells the story that I was never going super hard, but rather steady rolling)
Training Peaks TSS=726, Intensity Factor=0.74.
7th of 27 Male 40-49 (33 minutes behind 3rd)
28th of 84 overall (2 hrs 27 min behind overall winner – insane!)

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