BEAVER CREEK — Ladies and gentlemen, the Beaver Creek Blast met “Game of Thrones” on Wednesday evening.
Winter is coming.
There was a distinct nip of autumn for the finale of the Vail Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Race Series. In fact, with what looked like an impending storm, race organizers shortened the loops for the longer-distance divisions to make sure everyone got in OK.
“I think summer’s gone,” men’s pro rider Kris Oaks said. “Some of those puddles were almost frozen over.”
“It was definitely warm on the climb up,” Leadville’s Ty Hall said. “But coming down, it definitely cooled off and that black mud got really greasy. I went over the handle bars once. It made it challenging, but it was a fun night.”
A good season
Hall drives down from Leadville for every race — with a shortened commute for the Camp Hale Hup, of course.
“It’s just the camaraderie,” he said. “It’s fun racing with everybody. I think the Vail Rec District does a great job of putting on these races. It’s worth the drive for us.”
Women’s beginner Emily Miers just finished her first season in the series.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “I was on the Cycle Effect Team, and it was really, really fun.”
And like a lot of people who gathered at the Beaver Creek Dusty Boot after the race, Miers said her season isn’t over. A freshman at Eagle Valley, she’ll be racing for the Vail Valley Composite Team this fall.
Oaks, meanwhile, is gearing up for cyclocross. Those will be on Wednesday (Minturn) and Sept. 17 (Eagle).
Oaks was sitting next to Nicole Martin, who competed in the women’s beginner category. She said her favorite race of the year was the Davos Dash.
“I might be the only one,” she said.
“You are sick,” Oaks joked.
Individual times for the Beaver Creek Blast as well as the season’s division and team winners will appear in Friday’s Vail Daily.
“I think the summer of 2014 was great for the bike series,” said the Vail Recreation District’s Beth Pappas. “We didn’t have to reschedule any races, despite the weather, and we had a couple new or modified courses that kept it fun and interesting. I’m really excited and happy with how it went and I hope that the racers feel the same way. We’re already thinking about what we can do to crank it up for next year.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.