2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Huck and Grotts hold overall leads with two days to go

News Race Coverage
2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

Stage 4, the Aqueduct Trail, could accidentally be looked over in the lineup of stages. Being the middle-child between the king and queen stages, most riders probably shrug it off. But it’s no walk in the park. For complete stage 4 results head to breckepic.com.

“It seemed like a lot of climbing today. Like, that’s all we did,” offered multi-time Olympian Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team).

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

After stage three, where Nash won the day and brought the gap between herself and overall leader Erin Huck (Cannondale – 3 Rox) down to just 20-seconds, the race was looking like it might be tight for the second half of the week, but Huck made a strong move toward clinching the overall today.

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Linda Guerrette

“I was just hoping to survive today,” said Huck after putting almost eight and a half minutes in to Nash on Stage 4. “It was not pretty yesterday. I was in a deep, dark place. I think I got a little bit of a gap on vomit hill, but I could still see her behind me, so I just tried to keep it steady.”

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

Nash lost time on the climbs and was suffering from stomach issues that resulted in her having a deficit of close to nine minutes, she added, “Today was a rough day for me. I had a bunch of stomach issues and just couldn’t go.”

Amy Beisel (Pro Cycling / Kenda) finished third on the day, 15 minutes back and Evelyn Dong (Full Cycle) was just under two-minutes behind Beisel.

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

“I think every day has gotten better since the second day,” said Dong. “I had a pitty-party [on the second day]. I tried to invite some other people to it, but no one took me up on it. Just trying to take it day by day. I’d like to have a really good day, but just trying to take it steady.”

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Overall, Huck leads Nash by almost nine minutes, with Beisel in securely in third, and Dong in fourth.

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

In the men’s pro race, after riding most of the day in a group of six — with Todd Wells (SRAM / TLD / SCOTT), Howard Grotts (Specialized), Stephan Davoust (Giant Factory Off-Road), Jeremiah Bishop (TEAM TOPEAK ERGON) and Fernando Riveros — Geoff Kabush (SCOTT – Maxxis) was able use the descents to his advantage to take the stage win.

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Eddie Clark

“The first half of the race we had a group of six and on the smaller hills there was some yo-yoing going on,” said Kabush. “On the really big climb up to the Colorado Trail, I kept getting dropped over and over again. I was lucky enough to use my descending skills to fly down the Colorado trail and get back [with the group.]”

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Howard Grotts made clean work of the big group on the 15-minute climb up Rock Island Trail, which stair-steps at the top as it hits Rock Island Road.

“I knew that was just about the only chance I had to make up some time,” recounted Grotts about his battle for the overall with Wells. “I got a gap, but Kabush was able to follow pretty close and he got back to me near the bottom of this descent. He’s so quick [on the descents], it’s a good wheel to follow.”

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/ Linda Guerrette

Wells had a slightly different take on Grotts’ attack, humbly saying, “Howie nailed it up that last climb. Like full sprint. Kabush was able to follow him a little, but Bishop and I were like ‘pfff!’”

2017 Breck Epic: Riding the Aqueduct Trail

Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Grotts and Kabush finished 1:46 ahead of Wells, giving Grotts the overall lead again, with a gap of 26-seconds going in the Wheeler Pass climbing stage and the technical descents that follows. Kabush took some time back from Bishop in the race for third, but there is still a decent gap between Kabush and podium with Bishop standing firmly between it.

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