Vail’s Kloser leads team to second |

Vail’s Kloser leads team to second

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado
Dan Campbell | Special to the DailyTeam Nike treks through the desert in Abu Dhabi during an adventure race in late December. The camel gave the team some problems on the final section of the trek.

Every adventure race Vails Mike Kloser competes in isnt just about winning.Theres the whole adventure part of the equation. At a race in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in late December, Kloser, the Team Nike Captain, led his team to a second-place finish but made sure to get a good look at the unfamiliar surroundings.You have to take it in, Kloser said. If you are not, you are missing so much. For me, (the sport) isnt for the fame or fortune.Through his adventure-racing career, Kloser has been on nearly every continent and in every type of climate. The Middle East, though, was one of the few places through which Kloser hadnt navigated.It was a pretty awesome place, he said. Getting out in that diverse landscape it was something Id never imagined.Early in the race, Team Nike, which also included Michael Tobin, Chris Forne and former Vail Valley resident Sari Anderson, made some good time while paddling in the Arabian Sea.We put significant time on a lot of strong teams on Day 2 even the (New Zealand Team), who were in the peak of their paddling season, said Kloser, who paddled two to three times a week in Lake Dillon until it froze over.

During a two-day trek in the desert, Team Nike made good time until the final stretch, when its camel caused some problems.It mutinied on us, Kloser said. We were about 10 feet from the crest of the last dune, and (the camel) refused to go up the slope. We had several teams pass us, and their camels would go up and over. We were pushing the camels behind off the ground.About one hour later, the camel finally made it over the dune, but only after Team Nike dug some pathways. Race organizers decided to scrap times from the portion, and Team Nike sat only three minutes out of the lead heading in the mountaineering portion. Anderson, only five months removed from giving birth to her first child, had some ankle problems, and the team had to stop for a bit.She was really good on every aspect, but the injury took so much out of her physically, Kloser said. Her attitude was rock-solid from the get-go.After Anderson got her ankle taped, Team Nike was on the move again and held on to take second behind Team Eurosport, captained by former Nike racer Richard Ussher.While Team Nike wont compete again until March or April, Kloser is back in action today at the Highlands Uphill in Aspen.

Beaver Creek is scheduled to host an Xterra off-road triathlon Aug. 9.The race will feature a 1.5-kilometer swim, 30-kilometer mountain bike and 11-kilometer trail run, with the swimming portion at Avons Nottingham Lake and the bike and trial run at Beaver Creek.While Keystone hosted an Xterra two years ago, this will be the first Xterra at Beaver Creek.With the race coming one week before the Mountain Championships in Utah, many top athletes from around the world are expected to participate. A large contingent of athletes from Eagle and Summit counties participates in the series. Pro racer and Avon resident Josiah Middaugh will help design the course.

This August, Vail will host Colorados first stage race in 20 years when the Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic comes to town. The Vail Valley Foundation, which will put on the race, recently confirmed a three-day tour that includes a Breckenridge-to-Vail road race, a circuit in Vail and the Vail Pass Time Trial.In the 1980s, Vail hosted a portion of the Coors Classic, which was the Vail Pass Time Trial. This years race is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union and is expected to draw top pro teams from the United States and around the world. For a full report on the race, check next weeks sports section.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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