Hurt in the Dirt

Hurt in the Dirt

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

I officially started cyclocross season! I made my way to Las Vegas on Tuesday to attend the annual InterBike convention and first big UCI cyclocross race of the year CrossVegas. With work on hold until credentialing is complete, it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the time off and travel to a few races. Not to mention the incredible opportunity given to me by cyclocross legend Jonathan Page and his peeps to travel and learn from one of the best in cyclocross. So armed with a new coach, a new Blue bike and the ole Rooster's/Biker's Edge kit, I arrived in Vegas to embark on another crazy cycling journey.

For those of you who have never experienced CrossVegas, its quite the scene. I mean, come on...its Vegas! Nothing is small or ordinary in Vegas! From racing on a Wednesday, to the late night start times, to the Euro-sized crowd...its unlike any other bike race in the US. The women's field was stacked, as always, with the best riders the US has to offer (well, minus the great Katie Compton) in addition to the usual Canadian riders and even a few from Europe made the trip. Given my lack of UCI points, my start position was very near the back in the 40th position out of some 50 listed riders on the start list. Although I know its going to be fast and furious from the gun, I still am amazed by the actual speed those girls are able to generate. From the get go the usuals were out front and I found my self dangling off the back of a big group. After the first long lap, I was in the second group and beginning to settle in a bit. The uncharacteristically rainy weather made the course wet and slick, two things this race in NOT known for. I was glad that I had some MTB experience to rely on. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. The group of 7-8 girls I was in fluctuated back and forth the whole time and on the last lap I was second wheel going into the last 1/4 mile. My goal at that point was to win the group sprint. With my best crit skills (learned from Nicky no less!) I rounded the last hairpin turn and hammered the last 100 yards or so for the pack sprint win! In the end I was 25th. Along with every other pro race I've done, there were things I wish I had done better or different, but that's what this year is all about...learning! I feel like this trip is invaluable for learning with some of the best mentors in the business.

So one more day in Vegas attending the I-Bike show and mingling with a few friends. Then off to Seattle for Starcrossed on Saturday. Hopefully I can round up some pictures from the race last night and post them later.

Special thanks to Weston Woodward for the ride down to Vegas and being Brandon's fill-in at the start line, pit, and post-race!

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