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).
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
Overall, Huck leads Nash by almost nine minutes, with Beisel in securely in third, and Dong in fourth.
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.
“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.]”
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.”
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!’”
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.