EDWARDS — It’s a world gone Sappenfield, and it’s pretty much a given that we all can’t get enough Sappenfield.
At Wednesday’s Berry Creek Bash, the mother-daughter combination of Heather and Sydney Sappenfield, of Eagle, were in their respective winner’s circles. Madame Heather was tops in women’s vet sport, while Sydney took women’s beginner.
For some reason, Ross, the patriarch of the Sappenfields, did not win, but we won’t hold that against him.
On the pro level, Josiah Middaugh took the men’s race after Jay Henry had mechanical issues. In fairness, Middaugh’s a pretty good athlete in his own right, and everyone involved in the Vail Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Race Series wishes him well during this weekend’s Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the GoPro Games in Vail.
And, as the sun sets in the west, Gretchen Reeves made it 2-for-2 on the season in women’s pro.
Less climbing, please
Vail’s Ryan Mendon was competing in his first mountain-bike race ever. Coming from the mountain-biking mecca of Kansas, well, this was definitely different for him.
“First race ever,” Mendon said. “I haven’t been on a mountain bike in several years. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t go very fast. It was pretty tough up the hill.”
Climbing, as it turns out, is the great equalizer. It’s tough if you’re a first-timer or a long-time rider.
Take Beth Bush, of Avon, who won the women’s vet sport two weeks ago during the Battle of Bellyache down in Eagle.
“This one is not my favorite. There’s too much climbing for not enough downhill,” Bush said with a laugh. “I went out really hard and I paid for it. It’s better to keep a steady pace, especially with all that climbing.”
Jennie Thorne and Paul Datsko, who ended up in the beer line together at e-town, had different approaches to Wednesday’s Bash.
“The hill’s a little bit of a grind, so you’ve got to be aware of that for the second lap,” Thorne said. “Just try to recover and have fun on the downhill.”
Datsko was of the school of “pedal like crazy.”
“Just try to go out as hard as I can and keep up the intensity,” he said.
Both Thorne and Datsko said that this race, the second of the season, felt better than the first after a wet and cold spring.
And everyone could agree that the beer tasted good.
“Better than any beer you’ve ever had in your life,” Thorne said.
The Vail Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Series continues June 18 with the Camp Hale Hup.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.