Lost Lake cools riders, but still challenges at the East-West Destination Hospitality Mountain Bike Race Series
Lost Lake Loop
Men’s beginner: Garret Moehring
Women’s beginner: Izzy Glackin
Men’s grandmaster 50-plus: Chip Craft
Men’s grandmaster 60-plus: Paul Gotthelf
Men’s vet sport 30-plus: Mark Brownson
Men’s masters sport 40-plus: Innes Isom
Men’s sport: Cole Weathers
Women’s sport: Izzy Sargent
Men’s singlespeed: Ciro Zirate
Women’s singlespeed: Pam Davis
Clydesdale: Robert Moehring
Men’s expert: Kris Ochs
Women’s expert: Janel Klug
Men’s vet expert 30-plus: Shaun Martin
Men’s masters expert 40-plus: Adam Plummer
Men’s grandmaster expert 50-plus: Mark Roebke
Men’s pro: Josiah Middaugh
Women’s pro: Marlee Dixon
VAIL — If Ciro Zirate says you’re fast, then you’re fast.
That’s kind of a rule in the East-West Destination Hospitality Mountain Bike Race Series — “Ciro says so.” After all, Zirate takes on the summer series with just one gear in the singlespeed category and does just fine.
And so Leadville’s Brandon Hanson is thusly adjudicated fast, finishing third in the men’s expert division at the ripe old age of 19 during Wednesday, July 11’s Lost Lake Loop in Vail.
“I probably went a little too hard in the beginning because there’s a hill off the start,” he said. “It probably wasn’t the best strategy. It was just to go out and do my best.”
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With the caveat that everyone associated with the series is wishing for rain this summer to alleviate the fire danger, the one good thing about the lack of moisture is that this year’s Lost Lake Loop was not a mud-fest.
“Actually, it was the best I’ve ever seen it,” said Robert Moehring, who won the Clydesdale division. “It wasn’t all soggy. It was nice.”
Consider that last year’s race here felt like it nearly snowed with cold and rain.
“We were all covered in mud last year,” said Avon’s Beverly Smith, who was competing in the women’s expert 40-plus. “So when I saw the rain clouds this afternoon, I was thinking, ‘Just maybe after the race. I don’t want to be selfish, but just right after the race.’”
Also in the department of compare and contrast, Wednesday’s race was a great relief to all, given the heat of the Eagle Ranch Classic two weeks ago.
“That was a whole different start,” Smith said. “That felt like they using blow dryers on us.”
That said, as long-time rider Mike Davis joked Lost Lake “is a bike race on a hiking trail.” There was a lot of climbing on Wednesday. The so-called short course had 1,600 feet of elevation gain; the medium route 2,800 feet and long way 3,400 feet.
“It’s the real deal,” Gypsum’s Mark Roebke said. “That’s what so good about Lost Lake. It’s a true mountain-bike race. You can’t fake it.”
Josiah won this edition of the Js. That would be Josiah Middaugh over Jake Wells and Jay Henry in the men’s pro division. Middaugh is doubtless gearing up for the Xterra Mountain Championship later this month in Beaver Creek.
Marlee Dixon took top honors for the women’s pro on Wednesday.
The next event in the East-West Destination Hospitality Mountain Bike Race Series is the Camp Hale Hup on July 25.
And in other racing news, the Wednesday series has another racer on the horizon. Beth and Derek Pappas, the former being the Vail Recreation District’s race director, welcomed Cameron June Pappas into the world on July 3. It’s expected that Cameron June will be in the saddle in about two years.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.