USA Criterium Finals, Interbike-Las Vegas

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I didn’t recover too much over night from the cross race. I was coughing a bunch of unsightly stuff out of my lungs and was feeling generally crummy. I went out for a ride after hanging at the bike show for a few hours. I can’t get too far at the show without running into someone I haven’t seen for a long time, so there is a
lot of standing around. I should of just spent the afternoon with Trudi and our friend Maureen, from Austin, at the Bellagio. Maureen got a poolside cabana and they spent the afternoon hanging by the pool drinking umbrella drinks.

Early evening, I rode over to the race with Catherine Walberg for the women’s race at 6 pm. It was a parking lot criterium. Lined with snow fencing. But, it wasn’t a horrible course. It could of been a lot more dangerous. The women’s race finished in the light. A field sprint contolled by The Cheerwine Team.

The industry race was next at 8pm. I was checking the course out when those guys were warming up and it was pretty cool. A bunch of guys I’ve raced with over the year’s, plus some guys that are still racing. Steve Hegg, Thurlow Rogers, Mark McCormick, Steve Bauer, Mario Cipollini. A weird mixture of superstarts past and present. Anyway, that race looked crazy fast. It was so cool that Bauer and Chipo were taking it seriously. But, in the end, crashes occurred and it got a bit out of control.

The PRO race was sponsored by Rock and Republic Jeans, the sponsor of Rock Racing. It was perfect for Vegas. Lots of glitz and girls, and hype.

I’d met some guys at the show from GoPro cameras that had a small video camera on display. I got a couple to mount on my bars and seatpost to film the race. I’m not sure if the lighting was up to par, but if so, it is going to be great. I’m planning on filming all my races soon and post them here.

Anyway, the race finally started sometime around 10pm. It was 60 lap on a 1km course. I got a good start and just hung around the top 15 most of the race. I think that it was nearly always the same guys there. It must of been hard to move up with the longest straight being 150 meters.

It was pretty easy racing with all the corners. I wasn’t even coming close to having to breath hard enough to get to the sore throat feeling from the night before.

With about 20 laps to go, I found myself off the front with Brad Huff and a Toshiba guy. I didn’t think that it was the right move, but wasn’t sure. Brad was doing most of all the work, with the Toshiba guy sitting on. We kind of finally got into a weird rotation, but that was short lived with the corners/primes. We got down to less than 10 laps to go, but by the the Kelley Benefit Team had got to the front for their new lead out style-take control 15 km to go. It looked like the Toshiba guy was going to pip Brad for a prime right before we were getting caught, so I jumped from behind and found myself off the front by myself. I rode another couple laps, winning some money, but I knew that it wasn’t going to last.

I sat up and got behind the leadout. Kirk Obee tried his hand at a solo move, but got caught and quit. I recovered pretty quickly and thought I had a good move in me to risk it and take it all, but that didn’t materialize. I was planning on jumping with half a lap to go it a corner and try to hold it to the line. But, entering the last lap, I was probably a couple guys too far back and ran into a pile of riders laying in the first corner. Race over for me. It was pretty anticlimatic for me. And the spectators I supposed. Two guys coming across the line, then 3 or 4 more, then the remains. The crash pretty much disrupted the sprint and broke up the field.

I didn’t get cut up at all and didn’t ruin much equipment, so that was a positive side.

The race was a great idea. I think the industry needs events at the show. And it is way more fun racing in front of your peers.

I was riding back to the hotel on the strip at 12:30am and it seemed so surreal. Time gets away in Vegas, especially when you’re racing to nearly midnight.

Pictures-Umbrella girls, race start (notice cameras on bike) and overview of race with The Madalay Bay in the background. Cipo before he fell.


One thought on “USA Criterium Finals, Interbike-Las Vegas

  1. sweide

    If you get a chance, watch the on-demand coverage of the race on Bob Roll notes that you were nearly retired when he started racing and that at one time you raced against Moses. Pretty funny stuff – but very complimentary, too.


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