CrossVegas 2010


CrossVegas 2010, the nations largest cyclocross race took place at Desert Breeze Soccer Complex last Wednesday and it was awesome. I was given the chance to be on the setup crew by Mike Olson from VegasBikeRacing.com which gave me front row seats to all the action and the chance to create a few headaches for the racers, see the pictures below to see what I mean. Setting up the course took two days and a lot of work. The race featured cyclocross champions from all over the world like defending Champion Jamey Driscoll, French Champion Francis Mourey, Gerben de Knegt and Lars van der Harr of Dutch team Rabobank,  US Champion Tim Johnson and Czech National Champion Katerina Nash. Check out crossvegas.com for details about the race.

These soccer fields are about to get a whole lot more busy.
What is Cyclocross? - Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing that typically takes place in the autumn and winter (the international or "World Cup" season is September–January), and consists of many laps of a short 1-3 mile course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for elite categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium, Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
The Cannonale Run Up before the banners.
TRP Run Up, setting this one up took nearly half the day.







Cyclocross bikes are similar to road bikes except for the tires, brakes and a few other customizations to accommodate for all the mounting, lifting and dismounting.












Many cyclocross courses feature extremely muddy terrain, stairs, steep hills barriers and other obstacles to give racers a tough time. Combine all that with a narrow 10ft wide course and cram over 100 racers into it and you can see what makes cyclocross stand apart from all other types of bike racing.


                                                                                                                                
video



A poor quality video from my cell but you can see these guys flying around the corner, dismounting, running up stairs and re-mounting all without slowing down. And of course the annoying horns blowing in your face.

                                                                              
The finish line at dusk, finalizing the setup before the race.

Women Elite Devision at the starting line
Men Elite Division at the starting line 


Men's Elite Division, Mourey and Driscoll attacking the finish line.
Pedal, pedal, pedal, dismount, run, hop, run, hop run run run, mount repeat.
From the top of the Focus Run Up, not just stairs but stairs made of sand.
Women's Elite division, a very crowded field.
Francis Mourey (center #3) standing strong in the pack would eventually brake away to narrowly steal the win from Jamey Driscoll who led most of the race.

Sadly this was the last year for CrossVegas as the Interbike expo moves to Anaheim, CA next year. Don't worry I'm sure VegasBikeRacing will find a way to create our own version soon.

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