While i loved Las Vegas, Interbike, and CrossVegas this year – the trip to Bend with CXMagazine.com is definitely the years highlight. The event, the riders, organizers, and towns folk conspired to make a cycling festival the likes of which I have never seen. The weather sucked (which is awesome for cross fans), the venue was perfect, the downtown area and events at night were super cool… i left just itching to get back in 2010! Below are a few highlights and video/images that I will hold onto till next year.
- Best Single Lap of Racing Ever – Men’s Division 1 race. Zach McDonald caught Ben Sonntag the last lap of the race and they proceeded to beat each other to a pulp until they reached the final corner. They traded the lead at least five times the last lap.
- The Cyclocross Meeting- We attended a premier of Brian Vernor’s new film at the local theater in Bend. There was a live show by the band Talk Demonic. Talk Demonic is Vernor’s muse of sorts, and while the band played, there was a montage of cyclocross race clips that Vernor has collected over the years. I’m not that artsy but the concert was amazing. I sat next to Adam McGrath, one of the movies stars, and we had to endure a drunk stoner dude talk the entire movie. Even the d-bags B-Rate jokes couldn’t ruin the vibe in the room.
- CXMagazine Live Coverage: I’m patting myself on the back here but I think we produced a pretty good event. It was a little hard typing in the cold, but I can’t really blame my typo’s on frosty fingers, i would pin the blame on desire to get out updates fast as they happened. Still… gives us something to shoot for next year. I think we’ll have to dabble in video a little too, I’d love to get a sense for how the cyclingdirt coverage fared.
- KFnC – Katie Compton didn’t take the hole shot so much as she commanded it. As the women tore by us i got the sense that everybody was too scared to try and come around her. She then proceeded to destroy the field.
- Elite Men’s Race: The crowd was so thick we could not see any action from our perch above the start finish line. J-Pow ripped the start like it was a one lap race. The depth of the mens field made it a hard race to pick a favorite, and Tim Johnson proved that he is the best in any conditions.
- NorCal Power: It’s fascinating to watch the different geographic regions exert their power. NorCal, Colorado, and New England proved their relative dominance as centers of crossexcellence over the several days. Seattle, Kansas City, and Oregon were also in the running for many of the races but suprisingly were thrown off by the cold snowy conditions. Word is former Santa Cruzian Barry Wicks is moving to the Windy City, and there are already rumors off on the horizon about how Chicago is a rising cyclocross power. You know they will grow them tough in HogTown.
If that doesn’t inspire you to get our and cross then just go check out the course for the upcoming Surf City race on Sunday. I don’t know how true this rumor is, but apparently it is so cool Tim Johnson is going to make it out for some Surf City races. Cross season isn’t over – its just getting muddy!
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