The conclusion of the Tour de France means one thing and one thing only – countdown to cyclocross season!
For many the kick-off to ’cross is CrossVegas. Held on a warm Nevada evening under the lights of the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex during Interbike, this is THE cyclocross race to attend as a spectator or racer.
You may be asking, “Why do I need to schlep myself to Nevada to watch a bunch of bike racers?” I have some reasons.
1. Beer garden. The area pulses with the energy of the race. And there are good snacks too.
2. The god damn cyclocross world champion is racing – Sven Nys! Seriously – we don’t get many chances to see a cyclocross world champion race on our shores. Take advantage of it!
3. Tim Johnson is going to be racing. Lucas Euser may be the most photogenic road racer, but Johnson is cyclocross’ version. Seriously – he makes Brad Pitt look like something that fell out of a dump truck.
4. Defending CrossVegas champion Jeremy Powers is racing!
5. Speaking of Powers – you might get a chance to be on Jeremy Power’s “Behind the Barriers” video series. My advice: photobomb the post-race media scrum like I did last year (check me out at the 6:30 mark in the BAAS cap).
6. They set stuff on fire. Last year there was a mechanical praying mantis with fire coming out of its head. I’m not sure what the purpose was, but maybe that was the point?
7. As a spectator you can see most of the race action from almost anywhere along the fencing. There are not a lot of events that can say that.
8. No one was on the French senate’s 1998 Tour de France report. However, if I’m tested I’ll go on the record and admit I’m positive for PBR. Probably a few cocktails too. I don’t apologize.
9. You’ll get to rub shoulders with the pros. Cyclocross’ elite attend giving you the opportunity to stare just a few feet from them as they warm-up (but like warnings at the zoo – don’t poke or throw food at them). Pros from other disciplines also attend because they know this is the can’t miss event and are approachable as they usually have a few drinks in them.
10. Did I mention there’s a beer garden?
11. I’ll probably be racing as well. If not racing I’m going to be hanging out for sure. Bonus: if you ever wanted to tell me, “You ruined cycling” in person now’s your chance.
Now is the time people to book that cheap airline flight or check the oil in your car, because you need to get to Las Vegas. And remember, there’s a public day at Interbike, so visit your LBS and suck up to them for a pass. Circle the date – September 18th! CrossVegas is a party that just happens to have a cyclocross race.