Beaver Creek Blast finishes/starts season | VailDaily.com

Beaver Creek Blast finishes/starts season

Tour de Wednesday ends, but adventures continue

Jay Henry leans into the first turn of the Corkscrew section during the Vail Recreation District's Beaver Creek Blast mountain bike race. Henry finished in first place for the men's pro elite division with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 7 seconds.
Justin McCarty | Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK — It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, so it certainly wasn’t over Wednesday.

The Vail Recreation District Westin Athletic Club Mountain Biking Series came to end with the Beaver Creek Blast. But as the future senator Bluto Blutarsky reminded us in “Animal House,” the racing season continues. (John Belushi sort of did that, we think.)

The general sentiment among those gathered at the Dusty Boot was that biking season isn’t over. There is plenty of summer left in the High Country, and then the show goes on the road with trips to Fruita and Moab, Utah.

Heck, Dawes Wilson doesn’t drop the bike even when it’s snowing with the fat-tire bike.

The kid wins

The talk after Wednesday’s Beaver Creek Blast was that Eagle Valley/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail junior Aidan Duffy put down the fastest time as a men’s expert, beating pros such as Jay Henry and Josiah Middaugh.

“A little bit (surprised),” Duffy said. “Josiah Middaugh had a flat, so that took some time to put a little air in it. Jay Henry, I’ve always looked up to. He and I were battling it out. It was a good race.”

Presumably, Duffy’s made the team, Vail Junior Cycling or the Vail Valley Composite Team, as it’s known in high school mountain-biking circles. You beat your coach — Henry heads up the team with Dan Weiland — and you’re good to go.

“This is a great way for these kids to get ready,” coach Henry said. “We have a huge advantage over those who don’t have (a series). These are awesome. These are harder than high school races. There’s more climbing and more technical trails. We get to the high school races, and the kids are ready to go.”

That’s probably a good thing as the VVCT’s first race is Sunday in Frisco. the Vail Club with host the division championships — the team is in the north — in Eagle in October and state is at Durango, which should probably be on the list of future mountain-biking destinations along with Fruita and Moab.

Eco-Challenge time

As for Middaugh, well, he’s headed to Fiji for the reboot of Eco-Challenge with Mike Kloser, Gretchen Reeves, and Gordon Thompson. Recently, Middaugh posted a picture of him starting his training rappelling near Piney Lake.

Middaugh had a quizzical look, which is unusual for the excruciatingly accomplished offroad triathlete.

“I’ve been out on a couple of adventure with Mike and Gretchen and I’m getting ready,” Middaugh said. “It’s one of those things where you’re never going to be ready for something like that. You try to go in healthy with a little bit of health and a little bit of fitness and a little bit of knowledge.”

Team results for the season series were still being calculated as of press time and will be in Friday’s Vail Daily.