Friday, September 26, 2008

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... except when racing CX!

A but fuzzy, but seeing how drunk most people were, they probably saw it this way!

I reluctantly decided to make the trip to Vegas again this year, even though Wendy Williams would not go with me. Vegas alone... not so fun. BUT, once there, being that it is interbike, you aren't alone for long. My parents set me up with a sweet host family (Thanks Greg & Shauna Walch) they met in MN at church. Crazy stuff, but a nice place to rest my head and not be on the strip. It was a short trip. Upon arrival I picked up Terry, Tinkers wife and we headed to an autograph signing at McGhies bike shop. Great place if you ever need anything while in Vegas. And Tuma Cross re-glued my tubulars quickly for me. Such great service. One big win and you get treated like a rock star. So I hung out with the other Cannondale riders and watched them sign autographs, although it may have been Tinker that signed the most. OK, I signed one or two.
The crew: Front row: Jamey Driscoll, Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, Me & Tinker in the back

Cross Vegas, much like Star Crossed, is late. I'm not sure I like racing my bike after 7 p.m. Desert Breeze is a tough venue, with power sucking grass that zaps you. Plus it was hot. I think it may have dropped to the high 70's after the sun went down. There was no good place to warm up, so sans trainer, I did what I could. I relaxed, went to the line fourth, had an o.k. start until the first corner and then it was a shit show. That start loop was scary and super aggressive and I was just focused on not going down. I need to be MORE aggressive, but I figured I would lose more time if I was on the ground, so I relaxed. I didn't see the ground until a straight away after the cement climb when someone decided to just clip me and run me into the tape. Down I went. Oh well. I had lost some time and the lead group was gone. They had made the break whileI was checking out the grass, up close and personal. Not the best place to be, eh? Now there was only one place to go and that was forward. I was angry, hot, miserable, tired and wanted to get back in the race. I kept moving forward and making time on those in my sights. When I caught Wendy Simms, I was psyched, b/c I thought we could work together to bridge the gap back to Kelli and Rachel. No such luck. Afterwards she told me she had nothing. So I was on my own. And chase I did. I was at a disadvantage, because I was alone in the wind and they were working together, but I managed to close the gap down to 7 seconds. (ALTHOUGH CYCLINGNEWS ADDED AN EXTRA MINUTE TO OUR TIMES!?!?!). I finished right behind them with them in my sights. It was frustrating, but still a great race after 2 hard races over the weekend. No complaints! Plus, I got to see Lance Armstrong get his butt kicked in cyclocross. But he finished higher than his start position. I can't say the same.
Interbike was my pre-departure destination. I visited some of my sponsors, thanking them, ran into lots of familiar faces and checked a few things out. Getting out of there was the hardest thing to do, because there is always one more person you see that you know. But now home at last and for a while. Whew! It has been a whirlwind. More photos to come, so check back, but here is what I have for now...

Me and my adoring fans. OK, it is Coach K and Melissa, but Matt set the tent up for me. Nice! I feel like a pro.

Talk about determination. I wanted to catch Rachel & Kelli really bad!
Photo by my buddy Dave McElwaine.
A nice shot by Eric Saletel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to kick off your season!!! Must be the coaching!

Jeff S