CrossVegas: International Race of Mystery

Sep 24 2009

As many of you know, I’m not at Interbike this week. Thus, I didn’t get to see CrossVegas last night, and am forced to piece the racecourse together from Velonews’ race report. Keep in mind, all these passages are from the same article:

“…under the lights at a soccer complex on the outskirts of the city…”

So flat, fast, non-technical?

“Nash crashed in a tight left-hander on the second lap…”

So flat, fast, but with technical sections?

“…Compton made the slow-riding, sometimes lumpy grass surface look positively fast…”

Uh, so slow, and lumpy, with some technical sections?

“From there it was road tactics on the course famous with riders for its heavy slow grass. Riders say the course is punishing to anyone taking a hard pull at the front, but favors the drafters.”

OK—slow, lumpy, non-technical, but headwind slow, not mud slow, so there’s tactics? I mean, I guess that kinda makes sense. I think I can work with this.

“But rather than risk an attack through any of the difficult turns or technical sections, he waited until the pair got through a tight double hairpin with about 450 meters to go, then pulled away.”

Wait, what? I thought it wasn’t technical. I mean, double hairpin at 450 meters sounds kinda technical. And I thought it was supposed to be hard to get away—that sounded easy.

“…said before the race that he doesn’t like the non-technical Vegas course because it doesn’t suit his abilities”

…and we’re back at flat, fast, non-technical.

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7 Responses to “CrossVegas: International Race of Mystery”

  1. Colin R 24 September 2009 at 9:54 am #

    A double hairpin with half a K to go is not technical in a cross race, my roadie friend.

  2. cosmo 24 September 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Well, the article says it’s technical. Are you saying you know better than Velonews?

  3. erikv 24 September 2009 at 10:18 am #

    Just go to next year, doy. They even had live race reporting, which was pretty cool.

  4. poser 24 September 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    I agree it all sounds confusing, but all that gobbledegook makes sense to a cross rider who’s ridden this kind of course. A non-technical cross course still has technical sections of it; like a double hair-pin turn. When Jon page says he’s not a fan of non-technical courses, he means that he didn’t have to run up muddy stairs, or slide down a 50ft off-camber muddy embankment, or try to ride through a sand pit (just a few examples of a “technical” cross course). You can still wreck by being too aggressive in the turns, but that doesn’t make it a technical course.

    So I guess I disagree with Colin’s assertion. When Velonews calls the double hairpin “techincal”, they’re right to the degree that hitting that turn with another rider at 25-30mph 450 meters from the finish is a technical endeavor. It’s just not the most technical thing you face in a regular cross season.

    The bumpy grass is a subtle thing. I raced on bumpy grass at Starcrossed in Seattle last week. It *is* punishing; but not necessarily slow if you ride it right. But it does sap energy to stay light on the saddle like that – and drafting can favor an experienced rider. Not sure if Velonews expressed that very clearly.

  5. SteveFroth 24 September 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks Poser, that’s about what I was gonna say:)

    Hey, I wrote this at 2:30 am and I just tweaked it a bit.

    Maybe it’s a mistake to say that the slow surface contributed to drafting and thus negative racing … I suppose it was the flatness and the occasional fast sections (and the major horsepower on tap in the chase) that discouraged solo riding. Clearly guys in the chase like Page and Heule had few options.

    I thought it was pretty savvy (and patient) of Driscoll to wait until he got through that last (slightly) challenging obstacle before jumping. Smart kid.


  6. cosmo 24 September 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I’ll readily admit the piece in its original, 2:30am incarnation still gets the point across—as long as you’re not picking apart for the sake of humor.

    And Page definitely sounded frustrated more by the racing than the course. He was quoted elsewhere as calling the others in his group a “bunch of lamos”.

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