Events

Trebon, Bessette take CrossVegas

Ryan Trebon (Kona-Les Gets) and Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) won the inaugural Excel Sports CrossVegas Wednesday in Las Vegas. [nid:40750]A thousands-strong crowd journeyed to the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex to watch the first major cyclo-cross race to be held in conjunction with the Interbike trade show, running this week at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. CrossVegas was the brainchild of Coloradan Chris Grealish, a longtime 'cross promoter who organized the 2006 Boulder Cup, the fifth round of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series.

By Fred Dreier

The national champ leads the way under the lights

The national champ leads the way under the lights

Photo: courtesy Mia Sullivan (c) 2007

Ryan Trebon (Kona-Les Gets) and Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) won the inaugural Excel Sports CrossVegas Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The men's podium

The men’s podium

Photo: courtesy Mia Sullivan (c) 2007

A thousands-strong crowd journeyed to the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex to watch the first major cyclo-cross race to be held in conjunction with the Interbike trade show, running this week at the Sands Expo & Convention Center.

CrossVegas was the brainchild of Coloradan Chris Grealish, a longtime ‘cross promoter who organized the 2006 Boulder Cup, the fifth round of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series.

Nailing the venue down took “nine months of work negotiating with Clark County,” Grealish said. “I could probably put on five Boulder Cups with the expense of putting on this race tonight.”

The tab included 6000 feet of steel fencing, a beer garden and a television crew.

The race’s only glitch happened two hours before the start, when UCI officials told organizers that a run-up section was not up to standard. Organizers hurriedly worked to move the barriers into a new position, but the decision did not sit well with the crew.

“I feel like they’re just being control freaks — they’re not worried about the athletes, they don’t even race themselves,” Grealish said. “I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on the UCI that I could have put toward prize money, and the athletes would still come.”

The UCI said the change was based on safety concerns.

“Two sets of barriers were illegal, so what we did was make it into a stair-step. That’s the conclusion we came up with,” said UCI international commissaire Dot Abbott. “If they want to race UCI, they’re going to have to comply with our rules. This was a compromise.”

The dispute did little to dull the atmosphere or the racing.

Reigning U.S. champion Katie Compton (Spike Shooter) and Canadian champ Bessette surged to the front of the women’s race early and distanced themselves from Luna’s Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould. As Compton and Bessette exchanged pulls, a sizable chase group formed, containing Kelli Emmett (Giant), Mary McConneloug (Seven-Kenda), Rachel Lloyd, Wendy Simms (Kona-Les Gets) and Canadian mountain-bike great Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Haywood), tackling her second-ever cyclo-cross race.

Compton, who regularly bested Bessette in 2006, could not match the Canadian’s surge on the penultimate lap. Bessette opened a gap and padded it to win by a comfortable margin.

“It felt pretty good,” said Bessette, whon spent the summer on the track, training in the pursuit. ‘ I decided not to pursue that. From now on I’m just going to do ’cross.”

As for Compton, she said her fitness was not at its peak coming into the race.

Treefarm spreads his branches
Trebon, North America’s most dominant male cyclo-crosser in 2006, said the Las Vegas race was a unique chance for racers to do battle in a low-stress environment. The race carried UCI points, but was not part of a series.

“It’s not that important in terms of the grand scheme of the season,” Trebon said. “But everybody is here. The sponsors are here to see you race. The course isn’t hard, but it’s heavy and slow.”

Trebon lined up against Swiss national champ Christian Heule (Stevens), Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com), Danish national champ Joachin Parbo (CCV-Cicli ProTek), 2006 national champ Todd Wells (GT), and ’06 world’s silver medalist Jonathan Page (Sun Web-Pro Job).

Trebon and Kona teammate Barry Wicks took turns patrolling the front of race after Wicks shot away from the gun. Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com) and Johnson took turns attacking off the front, but Wicks successfully shut down both attacks.

In the final lap Wicks and Trebon had whittled the field down to four — the two Kona riders, Page and Heule, with Powers and Johnson yo-yoing off the back. Trebon attacked midway through the lap, dropping Wicks and Page, and took the front of the race. The lanky Kona rider took the final sprint ahead of Heule, with a resurgent Powers taking third.

CrossVegas
Men

1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-YourKey Mortgage, 58:28
2. Christian Heule (Swi), Stevens Bicycles, 58:28
3. Jeremy Powers, Cyclocrossworld.com, 58:30
4. Barry Wicks, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 58:30
5. Jonathan Page, Sun Web-Pro Job, 58:36
6. Geoff Kabush (Can), Team Maxxis, 58:52
7. Jonathan Baker, Primus Mootry, 58:52
8. Davide Frattini (I), Colavita-Sutter Home, 58:52
9. Tim Johnson, Cyclocrossworld.com, 58:53
10. Christopher Jones, Nerac, 59:02

Women
1. Lyne Bessette (Can), Cyclocrossworld.com, 45:31
2. Katie Compton, Spike Shooter, 46:08
3. Katerina Nash (Cz), Luna, 46:44
4. Georgia Gould, Luna, 46:53
5. Alison Sydor (Can), Rocky Mountain, 47:08
6. Kelli Emmett, Team Giant, 47:08
7. Wendy Williams, River City Bicycles, 47:08
8. Mary McConneloug, Kenda-Seven Cycles, 47:08
9. Shelley Olds, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, 47:22
10. Wendy Simms (Can), Kona-YourKey Mortgage, 48:20

Photo Gallery

Results

CrossVegas
Men
1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-YourKey Mortgage, 58:28
2. Christian Heule (Swi), Stevens Bicycles, 58:28
3. Jeremy Powers, Cyclocrossworld.com, 58:30
4. Barry Wicks, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 58:30
5. Jonathan Page, Sun Web-Pro Job, 58:36
6. Geoff Kabush (Can), Team Maxxis, 58:52
7. Jonathan Baker, Primus Mootry, 58:52
8. Davide Frattini (I), Colavita-Sutter Home, 58:52
9. Tim Johnson, Cyclocrossworld.com, 58:53
10. Christopher Jones, Nerac, 59:02

Women
1. Lyne Bessette (Can), Cyclocrossworld.com, 45:31
2. Katie Compton, Spike Shooter, 46:08
3. Katerina Nash (Cz), Luna, 46:44
4. Georgia Gould, Luna, 46:53
5. Alison Sydor (Can), Rocky Mountain, 47:08
6. Kelli Emmett, Team Giant, 47:08
7. Wendy Williams, River City Bicycles, 47:08
8. Mary McConneloug, Kenda-Seven Cycles, 47:08
9. Shelley Olds, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, 47:22
10. Wendy Simms (Can), Kona-YourKey Mortgage, 48:20