Every ‘cross race should be held at night. Whether it’s Cross Vegas 2013 or the local Cat 4/5 shootout, there is something about darkness that just fits with cyclocross racing. As the sun set in Las Vegas and a chubby, beyond the grave Elvis belted out slightly altered versions of his classics, the excitement of the crowd reached critical levels. The cover of darkness certainly gave the riders more of a challenge and the audience the peace of mind to grab another beer. For Cross Vegas 2013 however, I’m not sure the results would have been much different had the event taken place when the desert sun was high in the sky.
Such was the level of domination displayed by two riders.
Katerina Nash and Sven Nys rode away from the rest of the field in the elite women’s and men’s races, avoiding the sprint finish that has been characteristic of Cross Vegas in the past. They didn’t exactly make it look easy but you can tell that these two are powerhouses who have a taste for the No. 1 slot.
The elite women went off first and went off fast. The pace remained quick but the pack stayed together for the first few laps. Katerina Nash of Team Luna Chix made a move about 20 minutes in, pushing the pace and riding away from everyone. As her lead increased, the excitement soon came from the race for second place between Catharine Pendrel, also Team Luna Chix, and Lea Davison of Team Specialized. Nash dominated the race and claimed the No. 1 spot, followed by Davison who edged out Pendrel for 2nd place with a sprint at the end. Long time friend of Art’s Cyclery Georgia Gould finished a respectable 9th place to give team Luna Chix a nice portion of the top 10.
The men’s elite race had more back and forth between the top contenders for the podium but not by much. The men charged off in an enormous dust cloud with Tim Johnson of Team Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com starting off fast and pushing the pace at the front for the entire first lap. Sven Nys, World Champion and Colnago sponsored rider, didn’t let that stand for long, catching up and pulling away from the other riders. Ryan Trebon (Team Cannondale) has a history of going out too hard too soon and seemed destined to repeat it during this race. He tried desperately to close the immense gap to the world champ in the next lap and, with the emphatic support of the announcers, succeeded. With Trebon on his tail, the champ began to let up on his blistering pace and relinquished the lead to Trebon for about half a lap. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus and returning Cross Vegas Champ) began to close the gap between himself and the two leaders, making Sven extremely uncomfortable. When Nys, “The Cannibal” saw Powers catching up he switched on the afterburners, dropped Trebon, and opened up a huge lead. Jeremy Powers and Trebon worked together briefly to reign in the Champ but J-Pow pulled away when it became clear that Trebon had nothing left. Sven Nys ended up crushing the field with a huge finish, Jeremy Powers took second and Geoff Kabush edged out a spent Trebon for 3rd place.
Check out all the pictures from Cross Vegas 2013 below.