26 September 2008 | Race Reports
Having a ‘cross race during interbike is a great idea because it gives us all a reason to go outside! (Otherwise we might be inside for days on end…) This year’s ‘Cross Vegas race was a huge hit. There were twice as many spectators and they were cheering twice as loud. It was pretty awesome- thanks to everyone who came out and watched! At this time of year, it can be a little tough to get really fired up to race, but that wasn’t a problem in vegas. I think the race had the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen at a ‘cross race in the US.
Anyway, I had a good start and got out front quickly. I tried to keep the pace hard, but not too hard- I wanted to be able to respond if anyone attacked. About halfway through the lap, Katie passed me and I jumped on her wheel. Katerina was behind me and the three of us had opened up a gap on the rest of the field. When we came through the start/finish, Katie sat up and moved over, so I went to the front for awhile. Coming into the barriers the crowd was really loud and I was going fast…until I tripped over the second barrier and belly-flopped onto the grass. It was pretty hilarious, especially hearing the crowd go “ooooooooooh” after I crashed. I jumped up and grabbed my bike just as Katie and Katerina ran around me. At the top of the run-up I was only slightly behind, but as I started pedaling down the downhill I realized that I had dropped my chain. Argh! I run a single chainring on the front so there was no way to try to get it back by shifting; I had to stop- at the bottom of the downhill at a fast spot on the course and put my chain back on. Katie put in an attack as soon as I crashed, so by the time I got my chain back on those two were gone and the chase group (Rachel, Wendy and Kelli) had caught and passed me.
I rode hard and caught up to the chase group. I sat in for a little bit and caught my breath. Then I went to the front and started riding hard. Rachel stayed with me for a little bit and then dropped off, so I spent the rest of the race in no-man’s-land trying to chase back up to Katerina and Katie. I got within 15 seconds, but whenever Katie saw me getting close, she upped the pace again. I ended up in 3rd, about 15 seconds back.
It was a good race between Katerina and Katie and they duked it out the whole time, taking turns attacking each other. It would have been cool if I was up there too, but I still had fun and the spectators were awesome. I even made $1 during the race. Some guy was waving dollar bills at us during the race yelling “get paid to race ‘cross! get paid to race ‘cross!” Finally I had to go for it, so now I am the proud owner of a crisp $1 bill. Oh yes. I’m already looking forward to next year’s ‘Cross Vegas.