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The penultimate stage of the six-day Breck Epic race is both revered and feared. Wheeler Pass takes riders back into the high Alpine to the highest point of the entire week — 12,536 feet above sea level before they plummet back to the valley on the race’s most difficult descent. Then it’s back to the finish at the base of the ski hill on the undulating Peaks Trail to end short but arduous 24-mile day.

As was the case in stage 4, Levi Kurlander (Orange Seal) won the men’s pro race and Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop) won the women’s race. Youngster Nash Dory (Construction Zone) was second to Kurlander after battling all the way back on the Peaks Trail. Jeremiah Bishop (Canyon-Topeak) finished third and kept his overall lead. Williams is also poised to win the overall race with one day left and a substantial lead over Katrina Englested (Boulder Cycle Sport) and Meghan Sheridan (Bingham Cyclery Peak Fasteners).

But really, the story of Wheeler Pass has to be told visually. To appreciate the huge rocky cirques that dwarf the riders, photography is the most effective medium. Enjoy these shots from Eddie Clark:

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