Davos Dash gears up and up today | VailDaily.com

Davos Dash gears up and up today

Preston Utley/Vail DailyRacers hit the wall during last year's Davos Dash in Vail. This year's race is today at 5 p.m., beginning at the West Vail Holiday Inn.

VAIL ” The good news is that today’s Davos Dash is only 3.52 miles. The race’s top competitors will complete it in just 17 minutes.

The catch is that it goes up 1, 321 feet, so your time may vary.

The Davos Dash, which kicks off at 5 p.m. for the kids and 5:30 for the adults, is a staple of the Vail-Beaver Creek Mountain Biking Series ” today’s is the 24th edition.

“You know it’s going to hurt,” men’s pro rider Jay Henry said. “After 20 minutes or so, you can pedal down and get some food and some beer. Knowing that it will be over soon is a good strategy. It’s always fun once it’s over.”

Up, up, up

In general, approach of the racers will be “go hard out of the gate. While there’s agreement on the basic strategy of the race, which begins at the West Vail Holiday Inn, there are a few nuances.

“Once they get (to the start), they’ve got to be well-warmed up,” race director Brian Doyon Said. “For the top riders, it’s only going to be 17 minutes. If you’re not warmed up and ready to go, you’re going to be in the back.”

Being ready to go is important, but it’s also critical not to get too caught up in the pedal-to-metal mentality.

“I think a lot of people will maybe go out a little hard, knowing that it’s a short race,” Henry said. “But 20 minutes is a fairly long time for your maximum effort. I always try not o go out too hard in the first few minutes and ramp it up as the race goes on, so you’re able to finish really strong.”

There are three steep sections to the short course. Doyon says it’s the second which catches riders who go out too fast. Henry says that the Davos Dash saves the best for last.

“I’d say the final 100 yards is the steepest part,” he said. “Everyone thinks they’re done, and there’s this wall to climb for the last 100 yards. I think that’s by far the toughest part. It probably only takes 9 or 10 seconds to get up, but it’s an awfully long 9 or 10 seconds.”

The race’s post-party is at The Sandbar.

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

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