Jay Henry finally had someone to chase in the Davos Dash.
Henry -- a pro cross country mountain biker, Eagle resident and the course record holder -- was considered by many the favorite going into Wednesday's 29th annual mountain bike race through the streets of West Vail.
But he himself knew otherwise, saying as soon as he saw 24-year-old Colin Cares in the start area, he expected to have some tough competition on his hands.-
"He was a youngster that I used to be able to beat-regularly, and now it's few and far between if I ever beat him," Henry said after the race. "But I felt good, I had a good race."
Henry said chasing behind Cares changed the way he would normally attack the race, which was a nice change of pace -- literally.-
"If you're not by yourself, you have to be a little more tactical," he said. "On the flat stretches, where normally it's a good chance to really make up time, it's tactically smarter to sit in and draft. And there's actually a bit of flat on this trail where you can draft."
Henry said the steep climb at the very end was where Cares was able the most-separation-between them. Cares ended up beating Henry by 18 seconds, finishing in 17:05.-
"Colin attacked me there," Henry said about the final climb. "He got a lot of power in a short amount of time, he just went away from me like he was on a motorcycle. And that was it."
Cares, who came in from Boulder for the event, said racing with Henry is always a pleasure.-
"When I was growing up racing [Henry] was always the man," Cares said after the race. "I've always looked up to him. Now that we get to race together it's a blast."
Cares said Henry and he find each other a lot at the various Colorado races and race alongside each other when they can. In addition to both winning the Davos Dash, they've also both won the Breckenridge Firecracker 50. He said he's using the Davos Dash to train for the Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships July 5-8 in Sun Valley.-
"It's right up there with all the tough climbs," he said of Davos. "But I think the charm in this race is the community aspect of it. People support each other in the races and then get beers together afterward."
Cares also said he enjoyed the spectator participation at the Davos Dash. A road race for early section, the course is lined by cowbell-wielding West Vail residents who turn out for the event every year.-
Ten-year-old Owen Ruotolo, who lives on nearby Garmisch Drive, said he's been watching the race his whole life.
"Next year I'm going to do it," he said.-
This year Ruotolo was gathered with his family -- sister Lydia, mother Kim Newbury and dog Skeeter -- at Ellefson Park , where Skeeter serves as acting mayor. They were using their cowbells and excited voices to cheer on anyone who climbed the hill, journalists and scooter riders included.-
"We look forward to it every summer," Newbury said.-
Jake Wells rounded out the Men's Pro podium in third, although 18-year-old Christian Kloser, who grew up in the Davos Neighborhood, actually took third overall with a time of 18:39 to Wells' 18:54. Kloser was racing in the Men's Expert division.-
Gretchen Reeves, Elisa Otter and Tamara Donelson went 1-2-3 in the Women's Pro division.-