Several Steamboat residents finish Breckenridge 100 |

Several Steamboat residents finish Breckenridge 100

Cyclist describes mountain bike race as 'gnarly' and 'burly'

Luke Graham

— JP Pougiales finally can drink from his Breckenridge 100 Mountain Bike Race mug.

After finishing a 68-mile race last year, Pougiales' swag bag included a beer mug with the words "Breckenridge 100" on it.

"I felt like I cheated," Pougiales said. "They got the two other heats. I figured go back and earn the right to drink out of that mug."

He more than earned the right.

Pougiales was among a few Steamboat riders to compete in the July 16 race. Pougiales was 18th in the men's singlespeed event, finishing in 13 hours, 24 minutes and 38 seconds.

The 100-mile race is one of the most grueling century rides around. It asks competitors to complete three laps and climb more than 13,000 vertical feet, with most of the ride taking place above 9,600 feet.

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The race also features three-person relay teams as well as 68-mile and 32-mile rides.

The first loop takes riders to 12,500 feet atop Wheeler Pass before descending into Frisco. The second loop climbs 4,650 vertical feet in 34.5 miles. The third lap climbs Boreas Pass twice, the first time riders must make it by 4:30 p.m. or they will be pulled from the race.

After you've climbed Boreas Pass the first time, "You've probably done 85 percent of the race," Pougiales said. "To get turned around would have been pretty ugly. From a mental standpoint, that was probably the hardest lap. Lap 1 — they send you straight up the mountain first thing in the morning — was probably the hardest physically."

Other Steamboat finishers included Mike Sharkey finishing eighth in the men's 68-mile ages 30 to 39 division. Sam Gordon was 24th.

Rob Peterson was 12th in the 68-mile men's singlespeed race.

The team of Bo Randolph, Jeff Boswell and Bec Bale won the team coed division.

"It's a very gnarly course," Randolph said. "Every lap has a lot of climbing. It's the first time I've been to that race or seen that race. It's burly."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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