VRD bike races end with a Blast | VailDaily.com

VRD bike races end with a Blast

VRD Beaver Creek Race PU 8-10

BEAVER CREEK ” It’s over, but it really isn’t.

The Vail Recreation District’s annual mountain-bike race series ended Wednesday evening with the Beaver Creek Blast, but riders aren’t ready to turn in their spokes for skis or snowboards yet.

“I noticed the sun was on the other side of the mountain already,” said Jay Henry, who won the men’s pro division with a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes, 34 seconds. “The summer’s wrapping up and it’s kind of sad. But it’s been a great summer, good series.

“I’ll keep riding into November by going into the desert. We’ll keep racing into October. Plus, the riding here in the next six weeks is unbelievable, the next eight or 10 weeks, hopefully. The local racing is over, but as far as riding goes, it’s about to come the best part of the season.”

Uphills and singletrack

A hearty bunch gathered for the Beaver Creek Blast, starting at the base of Centennial going up Lost Buck to Village to Village toward Red Tail, which will be the bottom of the Birds of Prey World Cup course in just four months. Then they worked their way back on Cinch.

“It was fun,” said Sari Anderson, who was tops in the women’s pro division with a 1:36:02. “It was a good big climb in the beginning and then some good technical singletrack at the end. It was a good combination.”

“It was beautiful. To have a clear evening in the beginning of August is pretty awesome,” Henry said. “The course was great. It’s fun course. Any of the singletrack is great. It’s in great shape. Allie’s Way to this last singletrack was a ton of fun.”

Racers reveled at The Coyote Cafe after the race, enjoying a postcard summer evening. And for one final time the VRD’s Brian Doyon got to hand out prizes to the winners of the series’ divisions: Brad Bingham (men’s expert), Amanda Evans (women’s expert), Steve Meyer (men’s vet expert), Katie Brazelton (women’s vet expert), Kevin Roop (men’s vet sport), Dawes Wilson (men’s masters), Paul Gorbald (men’s sport), Meredith Mueller (women’s sport), J.T. Schmidt (men’s beginner), Kim Kelly (women’s beginner), Jono Ridler (men’s singlespeed), Wendy Lyall (women’s singlespeed) and Christian Kloser (juniors).

Not done yet

At Coyote Cafe, Beaver Creek’s Mike Kloser talked up the Ultra 100 coming Aug. 19. He wasn’t the only one thinking about continuing the season beyond the VRD series.

Anderson, who is moving to Carbondale with her husband, Ian, has plans.

“Oh, yeah. We have one more big adventure race coming up in September that we go to Quebec for,” she said. “But my favorite time of year is October because the riding is spectacular. I’m waiting for the colors to turn. Hopefully, the snow starts about November 1st. Nice and warm and then winter.”

It’s apparently not over yet.

“No. No. No,” Lyall said. “There’s Fruita. There’s Moab. No, it’s not over until December.”

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

Vail, Colorado

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