Racers ready for Beaver Creek Blast | VailDaily.com

Racers ready for Beaver Creek Blast

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
SPT BC blast 1 KA 8-8-07

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Two months of lung-scorching climbs are nearing an end for area riders. Today, the Beaver Creek Blast will complete the six-race Vail-Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Series.

The series ” celebrating its 25-year anniversary ” proved to be more popular than ever this season. Hundreds of racers flocked to the previous five races and roughly 250-275 riders are expected to compete in the Beaver Creek Blast.

“(The 25-year anniversary) Is a huge milestone for our series,” coordinator Brian Doyon said. “It just goes to show the type of people we have in community. We’ve been doing this for all the years I’ve been in the valley and it’s a big deal. The sponsors support it and the riders support it.”

The race features a fast, doubletrack climb, rolling singletrack along the mountain and quick downhills. The race starts at the base of Centennial and follows its traditional route to Lost Buck, over to Village to Village Trail and up to Red Tail before coming back down the east side of the mountain. Distances range from just more than four miles for younger riders, six miles for juniors and up to 18 miles for more experienced riders.

Racer Mike Kloser ” who took second in the men’s pro elite division last year ” is anxious to test his skills on the familiar terrain.

“My favorite part about this course is the second half once you get to Allie’s Way and Corkscrew,” Kloser said. “Allie’s Way is a fast, downhill, traversing descent. Corkscrew is twisty and technical. It’s kind of a power rider’s course because the climbs aren’t too steep.

“I think it is a fun course for everybody. It has a lot to offer. It’s not real difficult in terms of technical terrain. I think it’s one of the favorite courses for riders.”

The 1,378-foot elevation climb is nothing new for racer Jay Henry. Last year, Henry won the men’s pro elite division in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 2 seconds to cap a perfect 6-for-6 season. Henry is again dominating the men’s pro elite standings with 460 points overall ” 130 points better than second-place Steven White.

Two weeks ago, Henry cruised to victory in the Vail Grind, finishing three minutes ahead of his closest competitor in 1:20.44.

“I can’t believe it’s the last race already, that’s kind of crazy,” Henry said. “Beaver Creek is always a good one. It’s a good course. It’s one of the more enjoyable courses of the series. I am looking forward to it.”

Following the race, the Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek Village will host a post-party. A number of prizes are up for grabs including three Rocky Mountain Bicycle frames. Action starts with the youth racers at 5 p.m. followed by the adult racers at 5:45 p.m. Day-of registration begins at 4 p.m.

Sports writer Ian Smith can be reach at 970-748-2935.

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