The usually optimistic Alex Howes didn’t have a lot of things to celebrate 24 hours…
“I’m having a lot of fun out there. It’s a cool community of people that are willing to help people out.”
That’s the alt spirit way. And this sentiment rings especially true for Lachlan Morton at Breck Epic this week. The Australian pro has been participating in the 6-day mountain biking event — and has certainly been feeling the support throughout.
Breck Epic and Lachy are clearly a match made in mountain-biking heaven. It’s apparent to see what attracted him to a race like this once you look at the race’s official website. The first thing you read in the “about the race” section is as follows:
“The Breck Epic. Back to the beginning. When mountain biking was about big rides with friends. About lending a hand when a rider went down. About a shared experience that somehow, flying in the face of all logic, disproportionately enriched all involved.”
There’s no question that the event is unique and pretty peculiar in spirit, but so is the actual race route. Each loop starts and finishes within a mile from downtown Breckenridge and uses the trails in both Summit and Park Counties. The six stages that compose Breck Epic are described as “a well-rounded rider’s dream” with long and taxing climbs that are followed by endless descents.
Did we mention how the organizers would describe the race’s vibe? “Mid-90’s mayhem.” And we all know that mayhem is something Morton is always chasing.
For a rider like Lachlan Morton who loves to tackle challenges solo, he acknowledges that it’s impossible to tough it out alone in certain scenarios. Especially in situations like the ones he encountered in stage three and four. On Tuesday, the terrain was super rocky and the Australian pro managed to slice both of his tires. Plus, he didn’t have any plugs with him.
Fortunately for him, the Breck Epic community is happy to help out a fellow rider. He admits that it would have been impossible for him to catch up had someone not stepped in to assist him.
“Everyone wanted to help me out which was awesome and I got a back wheel from Lasses dad (a fellow rider), otherwise I would have been stuck. I was on a big chase and managed to catch up,” said Morton.
While there’s a lot of camerdie, the competition aspect is also very real. Yet at the same time, it’s almost like if you’re mad enough to do a race as grueling as this one, then it’s easier to suffer together. Sure, the competition is fierce…but there’s really no man or woman left behind.
The crew at the race’s aid station has also been a huge support system for Morton throughout the race.
“Those guys are really helpful. They gave me a wheel in stage four, and those guys have pretty much been my support group all week. They’ve been giving me bottles, tips, and advice,” said Morton.
The race might sound short at around 220-240 miles long, but the course features roughly 40,000 feet of vertical gain. Pretty epic, indeed. Lachlan has enjoyed Tuesday’s stage the most, which was of course the day that offered him the most challenges. No surprise there.
“That was probably the coolest stage yet. There were amazing climbs and trails. It was super challenging, but just a really enjoyable day of riding.”
Currently, Lachlan is in the lead group with four other riders. He was in third place for most of the race, but after another flat in stage four, he was taken out of podium contention — and isn’t taking it too hard.
“I had a really good day. I’m no longer racing to make the podium, but whatever. I live to fight another day,” said Morton.
So we’re looking forward to the final two days and wishing the riders that are crazy enough to attempt a race like this the best of luck.