Topeak-Ergon’s Lakata fastest on stage 1 of Breck Epic

Austrian using stage race as prep for upcoming Leadville 100

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Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata stays focused on a berm saturated descent. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata stays focused on a berm saturated descent. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

The six-day Breck Epic cross country stage race kicked off Sunday with the Pennsylvania Loop, a 35.8-mille high altitude effort with a leg and lung busting 5080 feet of climbing.

The day’s top performance was turned in by Austrian endurance ace Alban Lakata (Topeak-Ergon), who stopped the clock in 2:35:06 to take top honors in the 3-day open men’s competition. Lakata is doing the first half of the Colorado race as preparation for next Saturday’s Leadville 100. Fellow Topeak-Ergon riders Kristian Hynek and Jeremiah Bishop rounded out the top three for the day. They too are doing the three-day race, then heading up to Leadville.

In the men’s 6-day competition Frans Claes (Loving Hut MTB Team), Ben Swanepoel (Squirt) and Carl Decker (Giant) accounted for the top three.

Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air/Cannondale) was first women across the line in 3:15:17. Serena Gordon (Liv Co-Factory) and Kelly Boniface (Moots) completed the top three in the women’s 6-day category. Topeak-Ergon’s Sally Bigham turned in the day’s fastest time in the women’s 3-day category (3:21:20). Bigham will also be headed to Leadville next weekend.

For full results visit breckepic.com. For more from Breckenridge, check out this expansive photo galley courtesy of ace snappers Eddie Clark and Liam Doran.

Racers line up for Stage 1: Pennsylvania Gulch of the 2015 Breck Epic. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Racers line up for Stage 1: Pennsylvania Gulch of the 2015 Breck Epic. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

And away we go. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Liam Doran

And away we go. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Liam Doran

Starts are fast and usually uphill. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Liam Doran

Starts are fast and usually uphill. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Liam Doran

Kristian Hynek of Team Topeak Ergon sails through the Aspen Alley trail. Hynek went on to finishing second for the day in the 3 Day Open Men’s race only to be bested by his teammate Alban Lakata who took the win for the day. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Kristian Hynek of Team Topeak Ergon sails through the Aspen Alley trail. Hynek went on to finishing second for the day in the 3 Day Open Men’s race only to be bested by his teammate Alban Lakata who took the win for the day. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Six Day Open Female, Kelly Boniface looking strong in the 6 Day Open Women’s race finishing third on stage one. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Six Day Open Female, Kelly Boniface looking strong in the 6 Day Open Women’s race finishing third on stage one. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

From the professional to the weekend warrior, the Breck Epic provides the stage for everyone to test their skills and endurance. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

From the professional to the weekend warrior, the Breck Epic provides the stage for everyone to test their skills and endurance. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Top two singlespeed women Sara Sheets and Andrea Wilson together on the first descent. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Top two singlespeed women Sara Sheets and Andrea Wilson together on the first descent. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Jeremiah Bishop and Alban Lakata on hot pursuit for their Topeak-Ergon teammate Kristian Hynek. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Jeremiah Bishop and Alban Lakata on hot pursuit for their Topeak-Ergon teammate Kristian Hynek. Photo courtesy Breck Epic/Eddie Clark

Continue to page 2 for lots more photos from stage 2 of the 2016 Breck Epic »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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