Ohh man, as I get older and have been there a few more times, Vegas really gets lamer and lamer. Luckily this year I didn’t really have to do that much with interbike and could focus more on racing the largest cross race in the US, crossvegas!
I cruised out the day before the race with Jeff and Dan from Focus, and as soon as we got there I rode out to the course to get a pre-ride in. I had been stressing at how thick the grass really was and how hard the race was gonna be so a pre-ride was necessary. Afterwards I went over to Las Vegas cyclery and picked up my numbers, mainly because I suck at pinning numbers onto my jersey, especially the arms, and wanted a full 24hours to make sure it was good.
Race day I went to the venue again with Jeff and did some more laps while he was working, it was a balmy 105(+) degrees and there was no way to drink enough water. We grabbed some lunch then I tried to get in a quick nap. My only car ride out to the race got there a little early so I tried to sit in the shade as much as I could, while cheering on friends racing in the other races.
It actually cooled down quite a bit once the sun went down, and we started getting ready to race. Ive done it a few times the past year, but Im still not too used to racing past 9 at night. Timing of eating, and what to eat, etc… are a little more touchy.
I chose to ride the Focus Mares Canti bike (with WD-40 dry lube because its the F*ckin desert) because you don’t really have to brake, ever, and I have a lot more time on the bike since I just got the disc bike the day before. I warmed up in a field with most other racers at the venue then cruised to the line for call-ups. I wasn’t in a rush since I was about 5th to last, literally last line. I guess thats what I get for doing practically zero CX races last year. I made some jokes with Barry Wicks about how serious everyone is and then we were off.
The start, like most races, was very hectic, but the huge crowd, lights, and anxiety of the first race of the year made it a little extra crazy. After some pushing, jostling, sketchy passes (sorry Adam Myerson) we eventually settled into a mini groove. On the second lap we got gapped off forming the third group, I was 4th wheel behind the person that let the gap form so I didn’t really have an opportunity to immediately get back up there to the pack in front of us. I was no where near where I wanted to be so I went to the front of our mini group and tried to close down the gap that had grown to about 30 seconds.
We would make up a little time, but no one else wanted to bury themselves to try to bridge and I was unable to do it alone, so I just settled in. I had burned a good bit of matches at the start and trying to bridge the first few laps that I just went into TT/survival mode.
I was happy to finish on the same lap as the leaders (37th) and not get pulled considering my starting spot. I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish the race, and died of dehydration, if it wasn’t for J. Rowe handing me up bottles in the pit. I owe him some (a lot) of beers, and thanks to T. Hopper and Steven W.B. for letting me put my feet up in the team van.
I got the heck out of Vegas the next day as early as I could after walking around the show for a little bit. It was a short trip but it was really nice to be back home with Ellen and Jacki, and out of the desert, even though we are currently having a heatwave in San Diego. Got some good training in the last couple days with another hard day before I take off for Charm City cross back east in Baltimore, which I am super jazzed about. I grew up near baltimore, and went to college there, so I feel like I need to do good, plus my kit has a MD flag in the background so…
Hopefully I will have the next (first) edition of the video blog out shortly, its a lot more work than I thought! If you made it this far thanks for reading!