Riders survive, conquer Davos Dash

VAIL — It’s not just you.

Really.

We’ve got proof.

“It’s the hardest thing I do all summer as far as just a brutal gut-wrenching effort,” Jay Henry said. “There’s no other race that hurts quite like this one.”

There. Feel better? That’s the guy who won Wednesday’s Davos Dash in 17 minutes, 21 seconds. Henry’s the guy who holds the record for this course at 16:45 (2009), and he’s pretty much a cycling cyborg (who happens to be a very down-to-earth affable guy).

‘THAT WAS TOUGH’

Beth Bush did the Leadville 100 on Saturday. That was 10-plus hours on a bike. She’s pretty tough, yet, by that last nasty steep before the radio tower, Bush was feeling it.

“That was tough,” she said. “My legs were very tired at that point. There was a girl in front of me. My boyfriend was like, ‘Go, Beth, go.’ I didn’t have it in me. I thought I was going to throw up.”

So if you felt like throwing up on your way to the radio tower in West Vail on Wednesday or are a bit sore this morning, then you’ve got company.

It’s still there

This was the 31st running of the Davos Dash, the only course that has stayed the same since the beginning of the Vail Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Racing Series.

“In a weird way, I enjoy it,” Henry said. “It’s the only course that doesn’t change. You can compare your effort over previous years. Courses usually change. In a way, it’s the brutal truth of how you’re doing.”

And if you’re a J, you’re usually doing well. Henry, Jake Wells and Josiah Middaugh generally dominate the men’s pro division. But Cristhian Ravelo, who for some reason does not have a J in his name, has been making waves. He finished third in Wednesday’s race among the pros.

“He was first in Camp Hale. He was third tonight,” Henry said. “He’s not a generation apart, but he’s definitely one of the youngsters who’s giving us old guys a run.”

Up and down

Ryan Madison, 31, is a Battle Mountain alumnus, but he is more used to downhill mountain-biking with his career taking him to the Northwest. But he was back in town and in the Davos Dash.

“I was thinking it was a poor decision for my first mountain-bike race,” Madison joked. “You just try to get in the mindset of trying to find a rhythm and keep spinning. Don’t worry about all the kids and the older veterans passing you.”

And yet he made it.

“The immediate thought was, ‘Am I really going to puke or no,’” Madison said. “Once you get to no, it’s a really big relief.”

And what goes up must come down, as physics tells us. Women’s beginner Molly Baumel got up to the tower with the mandatory huffing and puffing and aching. However, coming down, she thought she could take a puddle, and she was one of many who were proved wrong on that count.

Baumel was caked in mud.

“I’m going to dive in the washing machine,” she joked. “I’m going to take a spin.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and cfreud@vaildaily.com.

“I was thinking it was a poor decision for my first mountain-bike race. You just try to get in the mindset of trying to find a rhythm and keep spinning. Don’t worry about all the kids and the older veterans passing you.”
Ryan Madison
Men’s sport rider


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 13, 2014 09:49PM Published Aug 13, 2014 09:28PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.