Old faces and new at Eagle Ranch Classic | VailDaily.com

Old faces and new at Eagle Ranch Classic

Mike Eastabrooks, left, chases down Ian Green, right, while ripping through a hilly section of the Eagle Ranch Classic mountain bike race Wednesday in Eagle.
Justin Q. McCarty | Special to the Daily |

EAGLE — Any race in the Athletic Club at The Westin Mountain Bike Race Series always seems like a family reunion, but then there was Wednesday’s Eagle Ranch Classic race.

The Isoms were back. Young master Luca, 7, wanted to race, and, so, Dad, aka Innes, was back in men’s vet sport.

“We came from Caracas, Venezuela, just to do a race, if you believe that,” Innes Isom joked.

Innes and his better half, Lisa, have been down in Caracas teaching as they raise their daughter, Wilder, 13, and the aforementioned Luca.

“I was taking it easy. I just wanted to see everybody,” Innes Isom said, amidst a lot of hugs. “I knew it would hurt. It’s always a little painful, but such a fun race.”

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For the second consecutive race in the series, the Vail Recreation District rolled out a new course for a familiar venue. It was the same story during the Vail Grind two weeks ago, and the new setup received positive reviews.

“I like the new course,” women’s expert rider Ashleigh Krehbiel said. “I liked being able to do three new loops, instead of doing the same loop over and over again. That was really fun. The road was very challenging because it was very bumpy, but the downhill was really fun.”

Five races into the series, the usual suspects are taking over their categories, including women’s expert, which has become the fiefdom of Melanie Wong, who, rumor has it, is the Vail Daily’s assistant managing editor.

“Last race I carried a stick hoping I could put it in her wheel,” Krehbiel joked. “But I couldn’t catch up with her.”

More updates will follow as events warrant.

Meanwhile, Taylor Story was competing in men’s beginner. He’s made every race so far this year, except for the Camp Hale Hup in June.

“I try to get out and ride three or four times a week,” he said. “Coming out and racing with people with the same mindset makes it that much better. Everyone’s going toward a common goal at the best pace they can.”

Next up for the series is the series’ signature race, the Davos Dash, in two weeks. It’s three miles, pretty much straight up.

“I rode it Monday,” Story said. “It should be a fun uphill.”

“Luckily we’ll be back in Caracas for Davos,” Innes Isom joked.

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

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