Vail Valley cycling: Youth served at Boneyard Brawl
EAGLE – Make way for the kids.
With a new race in the Vail-Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Race Series Wednesday, the Boneyard Brawl, how about some new young faces?
With a burgeoning group of young racers, the Vail Recreation Department, which runs the series, had a girls junior division for the first time. And the answer to the trivia question “Who won the first girls junior race?”
That would be Eagle’s Clare Baker, who will be a freshman at the Vail Mountain School at the end of the month.
“It’s fun. I beat my friend, Hannah (Hardenbegh),” Baker said. “The uphill’s tough, but the downhill’s awesome. She’s really good at uphill, so I let her go, but I passed her on the downhill.”
Spoken like a true mountain biking pro – know your strengths and capitalize there.
Meanwhile, boys junior Quintin Cook is no stranger to the winner’s circle. He made it 4-for-5 this season with a win in his division. The only “blemish” on his record was a second-place finish at the Vail Grind two weeks ago.
But when it comes to the individual points for a division title, one’s worst performance is usually dropped, so Cook’s the kid to beat. Let’s rephrase that, young master Cook, who just turned 13, is the teenager to beat.
While it was a new course to most of the field, Cook lives and trains in Eagle, so the Boneyard Brawl was a backyard race. He used some local knowledge to tame the downhill singletrack toward the end of the course.
“I actually live here so it’s not that new to me,” Cook said. “It really helps.”
In men’s beginner, youth was also served with Parker McDonald of Wolcott – all of 14 – taking the top spot.
“It was smooth and fast,” McDonald said. “It feels really good to win. It’s hard competition. I just try to keep going.”
The kids didn’t stop there. Conor Wallace, who starts his sophomore year at the University of Denver after graduating from Battle Mountain, won the men’s expert race. There was also Sarah Davis taking third in women’s single speed.
First off, we know she graduated from Battle Mountain in 2000, but she’s still a kid to us, even though you might not recognize the last name. Nee Baskins, Davis got married in June to her new husband, Doug, who works on the safety crew for the series.
“You want to avoid him on the course,” she joked.
Seriously though, Davis has been racing in the series for a while and is pleasantly surprised by the growth in youth racing, especially among the girls.
“It’s fun that everyone comes together after the races,” Davis said. “When we raced the races in high school, there were just a few people. We were the only girls. Now look at it.”
Everyone reconvenes Wednesday for the rescheduled Davos Dash.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s pro: Jay Henry
Women’s pro: Gretchen Reeves
Men’s expert: Conor Wallace
Women’s expert: Tamara Donnelson
Men’s vet expert: Adam Plummer
Women’s vet expert: Julie Morrow
Women’s vet sport: Terry Stimac
Men’s singlespeed: Mike Skellion
Men’s masters expert: Peter Davis
Men’s masters sport: Eamon Rooney
Men’s sport: Josh Petrucci
Women’s sport: Michelle DeWine
Men’s vet sport: Erik Dorf
Men’s beginner: Parker McDonald
Women’s beginner: Danielle Mt. Pleasant
Women’s singlesped: Amy Hermes
Clydesdales: Robert Crawford
Boys juniors: Quintin Cook
Women’s juniors: Clare Baker