Here is what Vegas is about: "Liza, just back from a island, working on hooking up with Chipo." She can translate for him!
We had the chance to meet with so many of our top pros. Below are our 'top guns' of 24 hour racing. Both Nat Ross and Reba are working hard to push the 24 hour race! Reba even has a light named after her 2007 World Champion success. The light is actually the same color of her old live-in car, where she spent years. Vegas can be fun, but also a ton of work, such as long hours standing!
Kenny Williams put the move on his race, as he rode away from an industry 'star field' at the Rock Racing Industry Crit on Thursday night. This 'star feild' included the famous Mario Chippolini, "The Lion King" stud from Italy, perhaps one of the best sprinters of all times. In the end it was Kenny Williams (Full Speed Ahead!) taking out the lengthy 40 kilometer criterium ahead of the impressive competition.
I lost my voice, yelling at Kenny Williams on the back half of the race to get on the nose, drive his knees, tuck his head, and hang in there, as he was roding away! After the race, I asked if he could hear me, and he said, "Oh Yes," with a huge grin on his face. Kenny is one of our Wobble-Naught fitters and has even gone to London, England for us.
I also got a chance to talk to Mario Chippolini during breakfast at the Luz, at 3 in the morning. Our friend Liza who rides for Tibco, had been hanging with him all week, and Liza can speak Italian which is very cool!
The high speeds and varying ability levels of the nearly 90 entries made for a race of attrition until late in the game, with gaps forming from the start. Eventually a lead group formed with a lot of usual suspects, including Mark McCormack, now a sales representative for Fuji bikes.
In the end, out of this group, Williams and Joao Correia (Bicycling) escaped with less than 10 laps to go. Correia stayed on wheel for a few laps, then Kenny put him in the wind and he could not match Kenny as he powered away! Track racing pays off!
It was great fun to watch the race from many different points within a huge parking lot surrounding the course. I did not catch it, but I heard that Chipo wrecked the first turn on the last lap. I saw a huge wreck at the end of the pro race there!
At about 10 laps to go, you could see Kenny moving forward, sitting on the nose of the saddle, as he he was just pulling away in the final labs! No questions about it, our fit allows you to get the most out of your legs. We set you up so that you have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on the saddle alone.
We also had the chance to watch one of our gals from Boise, ID lead a number of hot laps. Jenn Halladay, mother to five children, was marked as they informed her previous to the race, so that she was not allow to ride away as she did in Boise, ID. The course was not a pure power type of course, but more of a low-end sprint style, which was not her type with the long straights. She would pass many, only to get shut down during the turns where racers kept slowing. She then started passing on the outside of the turns. Parking lot racing is not her thing!
The Cheerwine team did everything right: they were lining up front, blocking, slowing down many, and putting Van Gilder into positions to use her best skills, where she sprinted for the win. Laura Van Gilder is the overall crit winner.
In the last race, a huge pro field, A&F still had a chance to win team for the season. They had six guys in the tight and twisty crit. Mark Hekman, who was the 2007 crit leader until nationals, was on hand to cheer his team. Mark fractured his ankle at nationals, but ended the season in 3rd. The A&F team where unable to get to the front on parking lot. They got stuck in mid-field and were blocked, unable to move up. However, this was a super showing for the 2007 season, as they needed 2nd overall.
All in all, Vegas was fun, with XC racing in the night, the fall moon, and lights laying the strip in the background. I was able to hook up with a number of our 'top guns' such as Georgia, Shonny, Reba, Nat, Erny, Hunter, Gary Fisher, Dave, Wayne, Eddie, Jenn, Kenny, Remi, the A&F team, Liza, Kendra, Sue, and the countless others who were at the show.
It's the one place that you can have a talk face to face with people who are players of the game. With that, you might be surprised who we might work with. Shonny wants us back to her home near Kona, and Georgia wants us to come down to Colorado to work on her game.
Our tools make a difference and success is reality. There are many others coming, however I will not yet disclose them for the coming 2008, until after the fact. After a week in 'Vegas Hype!' all you want are the facts and the truth! Give me the real fit!