Last week was the start of North American CX season. Cross After Dark opened with two of four scheduled events, Cross Vegas and Starcrossed CX. Rapha-Focus GP finished the week in top style.
Lars Van der Haar (Rabobank) struck first blood taking a field sprint over Christian Huele (Cannondale/Cross World), Rob Peeters (Telenet Fidea), Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt), Bart Aerenouts (Rabobank) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cross World). Vander Haar's win at Cross Vegas, in front of a couple thousand fans set the tone for the week.
Meredith Miller (Cal-Giant) On the Run At Cross Vegas
Kathy Sherwin (Stans NoTubes) About to remount at Cross Vegas
The Cross Vegas course wound round the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex west of the strip. The dominant features of the course were the run ups. Each section featured a different barrier set up. One featured set of barriers at the bottom that was jumpable which made the ramp ridable. A second was a series of sandy steps that were less ridable. All three were lined by fans screaming support for their favorite riders. A third was located a distance away making covering the crowded venue a challenge.
Katerina Nash (Luna) Leads out of the first sandy section of Starcrossed CX
Cross After Dark #2 was Starcrossed CX held at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah Wa due to a schedule conflict at it's traditional Maymoor Velodrome home. In true northwest style it drizzled on and off all weekend in Issaquah, located 20 minutes east of Seattle. Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) rode to his first of two victories on the grass. Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) rounded out the podium. Trebon was rewarded with the series leader jersey after a 5th at Cross Vegas and 2nd at Starcrossed CX. Starcrosseed ran under threatening skies, but on a dry grass surface. The stand out feature of the course may have been the fly-over at the entrance to the beer garden. Perhaps the feature that will live on in the minds of racers was the nearly 100 meters of sandy gravel along the shores of the lake.
Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea)
Wellens returned to the podium at the Rapha-Focus GP held on the Issaquah venue the following day. The rain that threatened all day Saturday, came down on and off on Sunday. The grass became slick and the sand thick and clinging. Wellens and teammate Rob Peeters traded leads while holding a sizable lead over the remainder of the field. Trebon had an off day, slipping off the pace after holding third position for about half the race. Peeters and Page filled out the podium.
Trebon, Wellens, Page: Starcrossed Podium
Luna's Katerina Nash took home all the cookies last week, with dominating wins at all three events. Amy Dombrowski (Crank Brothers) and Kelli Emmit (Giant) rounded out the podium at Cross Vegas. Nash shared the podium at Starcrossed with French national champion Caroline Mani (CC Etupes) and Oregon local Sue Butler (River City Cycles). Canadian Mical Dyck (Trek Pro City) claimed the second step and Mani stood third behind Nash at the conclusion of the Rapha-Focus GP.
Sue Butler (River City Cycles)
Caroline Mani (CC Etupes)
The full galleries are available here