When I touched down in Las Vegas I turned on my phone and had a text message from my boy Chris that it looked like Lance was going to be racing Cross Vegas with us. That was the point that it hit me how ridiculous this was going to be. This was the most stacked field I'll probably ever line up against. The Lance factor lead to some serious disorganization on the UCI's part, but I guess that's how it goes.
So the UCI said they were going to be calling us up by UCI points (mine haven't kicked in yet) and then order of registration. So I was no reason to jockey for position before the call ups, so I was just chillin'. Well they basically did UCI's and then Lance, and then let everyone swarm the startline. So I got stuck at the back, but that's how it goes. The gun went off and I pedaled once and then there was a nice pile up right in front of me. I was trying to get through it, stepping on dudes carbon wheels, riding on peoples backs, but I got hung up and watched the big guys ride away. I killed myself for a good bit and eventually joined the elite (maybe not so elite) group of riders who have suffered on the wheel of Lance Armstrong. The only thing was, I had killed myself to get to that spot, and he was just waiting for some open real estate. He took off and I didn't. I just kind of rode around not feeling so hot and was out of any good positions, so after my not so notable result was solidified, I started to try to have some fun with the crowd (which some said was 10,000 strong), by picking up the dollars they were hanging over the barriers and trying to throw some style over one of the jump-able sections of the course. The leaders came around and lapped my group with 1 to go, so I pulled over and waited to watch them finish. The atmosphere was so outrageous. I don't know if I'll ever do another race as cool as this one was. I don't really mind the not so hot finish, but was seriously fun. Any time that you get to line up with the current World Mountain Bike Champ and a 7 time Tour champ, and a few handfuls of the best pros in the world, it's for sure one to remember.
A big shout out to all of the people out there who were throwin' the singles and screaming for me every lap. I was suprised how many people I knew out there last night. There was a good crew from Bloomington, a bunch of industry types, and even Jackson and Mike Sayers were out there supporting. I actually checked results on Cyclingnews today, and they left me off the list. It was probably Mark Zalewski's doing... Anyway I would have been somewhere in the mid 40's, judging from the dudes I knew who finished around me.
If I feel like paying more money for another day's worth of internet here at the Hard Rock, I may throw down another blog post tomorrow about the rest of the trip and Interbike.
Why do are all the girls in Vegas COVERED in tattoo's (obviously including the "Tramp Stamp") and have a minimum of 4 piercings other than their ears?