Vail racers find Lost Lake, survive rain |

Vail racers find Lost Lake, survive rain

VAIL — In theory, the Vail Recreation District Westin Athletic Club Mountain Bike Race Series is a summer racing series.

“No. This was the winter bike races,” said Keith Samuels after completing Wednesday’s rather soggy and chilly Lost Lake Loop race.

Yes, the show must go on, and local riders are a hearty lot, even though it was questionable on Wednesday whether, well, the show would go on.

“I was surprised, but I was glad,” Alana Hurst-Samuels said.

“I was surprised, but I wasn’t glad,” Keith Samuels added.

The Vail Daily could not confirm if he was there all night, but he hopes you enjoyed the veal.

In training, part I

Wednesday was the first time since 2007 the series has made a stop on these trails, and, yes, Lost Lake was found, as the course’s singletrack took riders around the body of water.

“I absolutely loved it. It’s probably some of my favorite trails up here,” pro Karen Jarchow said. “It’s great we get to race them. A little cold, but it’s mountain biking. You always have to be prepared.”

Of course, this was just a workout for Jarchow. She’s riding in the Telluride 100 weekend after next. Jarchow started the day with a three-hour ride down in Eagle up to the Polar Star Hut. That’s just another day at the office.

On the other end of the spectrum, it was Hurst-Samuels’ first competitive outing in the series. There really should be a gold-star award for that.

“The weather conditions could have been a little better,” she said. “But it won’t deter me.”

In training, part II

Gaja Wilson and Sarah Smith looked rather chilled coming into the Evergreen Lodge after their races.

“We were definitely thinking it was going to be canceled with the rain coming in,” Wilson said. “We were hearing thunder. I’m kind of glad because we don’t want to race next week.”

The next installment in the series is the Camp Hale Hup in 13 days, so these young ladies were planning ahead. Wilson and Smith are working toward racing for Battle Mountain during the fall high school season coming up. That kept them going on a chilly Wednesday evening.

“I’ve never raced it before. I thought the uphill was long,” Smith said. “Once we got to the singletrack, I really liked having a race that was rooty and rocky and a lot more technical. We do the high school series in the fall. So to get all these races in and get uphill like that will be beneficial.”

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

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