Beaver Creek Blast caps bike race series
BEAVER CREEK — The Beaver Creek Blast was a blast on Wednesday as the Vail Recreation District’s Athletic Club at The Westin Vail Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Race Series wrapped its season.
“I’m really happy with how the season as a whole went,” the VRD’s Beth Pappas said. “We had a lot of good participation and energy. It was really fun to be able to debut a fun course, the Son of Middle Creek, as well as doing a kids-only race, The Boneyard Brawl, to give them their own platform.”
Although the aforementioned Son of Middle Creek had some beastly climbing, it seemed to be a good addition.
“Riding Son of Middle Creek, it’s like my favorite ride,” said Jenn Ventura, of Avon. “So it was really fun to race it.”
“I loved the Middle Creek race. I was really happy Beth added that because it’s a race that had a tough climb, but it also had a lot of technical situations in it. It tested your riding ability as a mountain biker,” Heather Sappenfield said.
Surprisingly enough, no one said Davos Dash was his or her favorite.
“My favorite race was definitely the Vail Grind,” Vail’s Cole Dissinger said. “I get to ride those trails a lot so it was kind of like my home race. It’s an awesome climb and the descent was just nice and smooth and super-flowy.”
An end and a beginning
There were no surprises in the pro divisions as Josiah Middaugh and Gretchen Reeves took top honors. Perhaps next year, race organizers will make Middaugh swim as part of his time. (Just a thought.)
Meanwhile, the women’s vet expert crew stopped racing at the yurts. They came upon an injured racer and called it a day.
“It definitely affected the race, but I think people were OK with that because it was more important to make sure a rider was OK,” Sappenfield said. “That was more important.”
Dawn Voegler was declared the winner and Pappas said that they would all receive “good Samaritan” points, so as not to affect the season standings.
While the series is done, there’s plenty more racing ahead. The VRD will have two cyclocross races on Wednesday and Sept. 9 in Minturn and Eagle, respectively. And series participants seemed to be making plans at the post party at Beaver Creek’s The Dusty Boot for rides in Eagle County and elsewhere before winter.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.